Mckay Otto Paints in Three Dimensions

McKay Otto is an artist from the Texas hill country who’s found a portal to three dimensional painting.

“I’m cubing light,” the artist said.  “I’ve spent five years working to perfect the transparent canvas .  It’s a combination of acrylic paint and special nylon.”

It’s akin to looking into a light box.  He paints in a layering process, first on a panel of wood, stretching his nylon canvas over that, leaving two inches of air between, and then painting atop the nylon.

“The layer between the back surface and the front is a layer of air, so when you come in contact with them, they come alive,” he said.  “I want them to breathe, and the air creates the space to breathe.”

He uses fluorescent paint to absorb light and throw it back at the viewer.  “They vibrate,” he said.  “They’re constantly changing because the light is always changing.  If you move one step to the left, you’ve got a whole new painting.”

He works with geometry, balancing negative and positive elements, in a palette of colors that range from golds and greens to cobalt blues and teal.

“You look through the outside, transparent canvas, washed in layers of paint,” he said.  “I’ve created a bridge and a vehicle between this  and the world of the sublime.”

An exhibition of his work opened last night at J. Cacciola Gallery at 617 West 27th Street in New York, and runs through July 9.  For more information, go to

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