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Art Watch : Vanessa Mckeown

Vanessa Mckeown is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.

Mckeown’s Crayons in a Marlboro box for her 2015 piece ‘Addiction’ had me fall in love with her art. As photo-illustrator, the imagery Vanessa is able to create is humorous, pleasant to the eyes and memorable. But more than that, her work speaks to me beyond that initial moment of reaction. Her cleverness is in getting her audience to look deeper. To hunt through the layers of wit and seek out the social commentary she perhaps unintentionally makes.

McKeown simply states : “I like to mix things up and make them visually pleasing!” Beyond that, it’s upto us as Viewers to discover and uncover.

Vanessa is a graduate in graphic design and film editing. Her main interests are Art Direction/ styling and Photography. But like many artists she enjoys the process of exploring a concept and the juxtaposition of different idea. This is what she finds satisfying as she is able to create a veritable visual vocabulary that she uses later to further a dialogue. And she has been very successful in engaging the viewer.

Why Vanessa Mckeown?

She has a unique take on foods and everyday objects, and as an artist she knows how to entertain her huge 70K Instagram followers with photography. McKeown’s work ranges from placing candy where you typically wouldn’t see it to making ordinary objects extraordinary with pastel colours.

Ultimately it comes down to the individual personality of the artist – and the personal brand of entertainment that they value – and that is what they share forward. Vanessa has a personality that she belives in the fun way of exploring and expressing a deeper message and she questions the world of advertising through her creations.  

She loves creating all things colourful, doing so usually with everyday objects in unusual ways. Her language is truly compelling and not forgettable. Combophotos, and the wave of social media that she had in her favour was one of the underlying reasons for her popularity. The inherent quirkiness of her content is followed faithfully, but to be honest she was one of the frontrunners of this style of work.

The artist’s success can be attributed to the fact that she was at the right time and place for her craft. And somebody who truly enjoys sharing her works, Vanessa Mckeown continues to be prolific in sharing with the world.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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