Stephen Mackey: “While You Sleep” @ Arcadia Contemporary

Contemporary British artist Stephen Mackey brings a surreal romanticism to the modern world like no other, and this Saturday 14th December, you are invited to join in with the celebrations for his debut solo show at Arcadia Contemporary.

His unmistakable works are a confection for the eyes, merging the charismatic and the macabre in delicate harmony. Enjoy the ostentatious? Prepare to revel in his display of females with rich, red lips, surrounded by extravagant layers of velvet curtains and silk dresses. Bask in the bizarre? Perhaps his spellbinding chimeras will better pique your interest; they are just as graceful as their human counterparts.

Stephen Mackey: “While You Sleep”

Stephen Mackey angel and wolf Arcadia Contemporary The Pantomimers

The Pantomimers

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 6pm to 8pm
Exhibition Dates: December 14 – December 30, 2019

Arcadia Contemporary

Old Town Pasadena | 39 East Colorado Blvd. | Pasadena, CA 91105
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Contact: 626-486-2018 or email info@arcadiacontemporary.com for inquiries.

With a touch of magic and symbolism, Stephen Mackey’s debut solo show “While You Sleep” at Arcadia Contemporary unveils a stunning selection of oil paintings which depict the candle-lit world created by the artist. This world is one heavily influenced by Rococo, Neoclassicism and Renaissance-era painting, celebrating gothic beauty and masterfully intricate painting techniques. It’s hard not to stand and stare at the textured scenery, the soft paint strokes of a hair curl or the delicate velvety wings of a fleeting moth.

Reminiscent of an older-age of visual storytelling, Mackey’s paintings can ignite feelings of nostalgia and wonder as the child within reawakens. These are gothic fairytales, moments of wonder trapped inside a painting ready to be released by an imaginative mind. Delightfully peculiar, each viewer will unveil their own story in the brush strokes; tales of woe collide with impish magics and proud, posing subjects. Moody figures lurk in the candlelight. Nature and mysticism are illustrated hand in hand.

So the question remains – what will you find?

About Arcadia Contemporary:

At over 3,000 square feet, Arcadia is one of the west coast’s largest showcases for contemporary, representational art and remains impervious to the varying conceptual and stylistic shifts often occurring in the contemporary, art world. Arcadia Contemporary proudly maintains its vision to present virtuoso, realist painting, drawing and sculpture by artists who are creating genuinely unique and timeless work.

Stephen Mackey wolf angel and lady

A Month of Dreaming

Stephen Mackey dripping fruit surreal painting

The Ripeness

Stephen Mackey death skeleton Arcadia Contemporary

The Magicians

Stephen Mackey birdcage

Souls of Ugly Children

Stephen Mackey nude female Arcadia Contemporary

Night Perfumery

Stephen Mackey cat and fiddle Arcadia Contemporary

Music for Night Children

Stephen Mackey cat and bat wings fan


Stephen Mackey female chimera

Dog Queen

Stephen Mackey bird chimera and child Arcadia Contemporary


Stephen Mackey blindfold black dress Arcadia Contemporary

An Evening of Clairvoyance

Arcadia Contemporary Social Media Accounts

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Stephen Mackey Social Media Accounts

Website | Instagram

About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk enjoys a life surrounded by art, nature, and curious trinkets. As Deputy Editor, she's worked closely with the Editor-in-Chief for over a decade, supporting with the design and growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the maintenance of the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Natalia also oversees sponsor partnerships for the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and distribution of the magazine, so drop her an email if you know someone who would like to sponsor or stock! She also writes for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect.


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Beautiful Bizarre will never supply your information to anyone else without your explicit permission - see our PRIVACY POLICY.

Join the Beautiful Bizarre email list


This site is protected by reCaptcha and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine takes your privacy seriously, we will
never share your information without your express permission.