Pirate: Contemporary Art  April 12-28, 2019
7130 W 16th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80214


Opening and Artist Reception, April 12, 6 to 10 PM
Hours: Fridays 6 to 10 PM, Saturdays/Sundays Noon to 5 PM
Artist Talk, Saturday April 27, 2-3 PM 

Agility, Dog Food & Waterfalls: ideas from software engineering that can change how you make, view and understand art.


In this color-forward series, McKay uses prime numbers as a way to organize figure/ground relationships, color progressions, and line placement. Drawing from principles of software engineering, sets of paintings follow a common paradigm to create a “style” that allows for artistic variation within the boundaries of a stated set of requirements. Paintings can be understood on multiple levels, from visual to conceptual, encouraging different types of engagement between viewer and object.

Having worked as a software designer I learned to deconstruct the software of others to get insight into what makes good user interactions as well as what decisions make software problematic. Ultimately, the best software is both visually appealing and allows people to use it intuitively. I look at art that way as well, believing that the essence of any artist’s ‘style’ can be decoded and written as a set of specifications. It then becomes possible to see what makes an artist’s body of work form a visually-coherent series and analyze how an artist’s practice evolves over time.

To help viewers better understand this process, gallery tags display the requirements used in making the works in this exhibition. A portfolio gives additional insight, showing the preliminary drawings and algorithms used in their creation.