Mikaela McLeish is San Diego based figurative artist, who paints with oils on large-scale canvases. Her work engages the figure with expressive applications of paint and a highly saturated color palette. Mikaela’s painterly process reflects her concerns in the contrast between the pulsating figure and static color field. Within the grotesque manipulations of the human body, she seeks to capture the sensation of the figure constantly shifting between presence and absence. Inspired by Jacques Lacan’s philosophy on mirrors and how they help children develop a sense of self-identity, McLeish’s current work explores ideas of consciousness and the self.
Born and raised in California, McLeish has exhibited in solo and group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), The Diego Rivera Gallery, Cell Space Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, Thumbprint Gallery, The Studio Door, and La Bodega Gallery. The recipient of the 2017 Business of Art Scholarship and a finalist in the 2015 MCASD 25 & Under Art Contest, McLeish earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2014.