Monday, February 27, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Merkel McLendon

Merkel McLendon doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t feel driven to create art. He expressed himself through ceramics, oil painting and now found objects. As he finds his way in the world now, the items he stumbles upon become inspiring puzzle pieces spread across a congested table waiting to be placed together, to be a part of something. 

Merkel was born in Mesa, Arizona, but spent much of his childhood in Morenci, Arizona, where his Dad worked in the copper mines. His oil paintings are a reflection of his childhood days, where the simple surroundings were miles of tailing fields and low flat mesas. This vastness of space made a great background for his surrealistic paintings.

In 2002, Merkel began to visit a very special place called San Felipe, in Baja, Mexico. This new landscape has inspired his newest media: Found Object Art. The combination of garbage strewn fields and gorgeous seascape has inspired his Found Object Fish. His fish represent the battle that it is to create art, or at least something meaningful to one’s self.

Merkel has shown his artwork from the time he was in high school until present. He has had work in the Phoenix Art Museum Student Show, Mesa Community College Student Show, Shemer Art Center Annual Exhibition, Burton Barr Gallery, Waldo’s Galleries, Phoenix First Fridays, and the Arizona Artists Guild.

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