John Patrick McKenzie (born 1962)
John Patrick McKenzie was born in the Philippines in 1962 and moved with his family to the United States in 1964. He grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District, where he continues to live with his parents and participate in family activities. McKenzie has been diagnosed with autism and a strong circle of support helps him with his daily living. McKenzie has been working at Creativity Explored of San Francisco since 1989. He clearly expresses his likes and dislikes in his art, which serves as an emotional release. He is an avid watcher of the news and as his art reveals, is greatly disturbed by senseless violence and death. Inspired by pop culture, people in his daily life, and current events, he weaves together series of phrases that read as poems. The emotional content of his work represents both ends of the spectrum from profound anger to delightful humor. Using a strong, rhythmic font of his own invention, McKenzie’s words dance across the surface like a musical score, creating hypnotic abstract patterns. He is a prolific artist who works on paper, wood, plexiglass, and glass blocks. McKenzie’s work was included in the 1998 exhibition “Whipper Snapper Nerd: Work from Creativity Explored” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, "Aspergers and Art" at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in NYC in 2004 and "Autism to Asperger's" at the Berenberg Gallery in 2005.