You may not immediately recognize the name Mac George, but you’ve most likely seen and enjoyed his art in both old and new Disney movies, from “The Little Mermaid” to “Moana.” He’s the animating hand behind the films that captivate audiences around the world, and he also lends his aesthetic to Midcentury Modern-inspired artwork.
The Road to Disney
Aspiring to learn animation, graphics and fine art, Mac attended the California Institute of the Arts. In 1988, he joined the Disney Animation team as a visual development artist and has been with the company ever since, crafting iconic moments like the stained-glass prologue in “Beauty and the Beast” and adapting with the company as technology moved animation from hand drawings to computer animation. Over the course of his storied career, he’s seen Disney become more receptive to Midcentury Modern styling, which is a natural extension of his own proclivities. He says, “I like the clean, beautiful shapes of midcentury design. It makes me nostalgic and reminds me of my childhood.
A Mod Passion
Mac’s personal collection of prints, which he sells online, feature a range of subjects inspired by mid mod design. “Most are urban,” Mac says. “I get ideas for pieces driving around Los Angeles on the freeways or in the desert in Arizona. I like to stylize things people are familiar with, like golf courses, airports or neighborhoods.” His prints, which he describes as “flat and graphic,” capture the visually immersive nature of midcentury shapes and colors, transporting viewers back to a different time while the animated nature of his work gives his art the stylish spirit of the Midcentury Modern era. His prints are limited editions, and they’re printed on museum-quality paper. Depending on his schedule with Disney, they can take anywhere from one week to a couple of months to complete.
Mac bemoans the fact that Los Angeles didn’t preserve more of the midcentury architecture that filled his childhood with riveting shapes and lines, but, through his art, he revisits those wondrous locales and conserves them for the future.
Mac George turns to the heavy hitters of the art world for his inspiration, finding muses in Pablo Picasso, Saul Bass, Irving Harper, Eyvind Earle, Juan Gris and David Klein. “They all exhibited beautiful manipulations of color and shapes. They all treated their pieces as complete compositions, not just representational pictures of objects. Positive and negative shapes were equally important.”
Architecture also influences Mac, and he appreciates the creations of Pierre Koenig, Louis Armet and Eldon Davis. “They took modernism over the top. From Koenig’s Stahl House to the restaurants designed by Armet and Davis, their works are visual feasts that take me back.”
For more, visit macartprints.com.
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