Malik McKoy

Malik McKoy (born in Surrey, Canada; lives in Ajax, Canada) works toward dissolving borders between real and virtual, analogue and digital, weaving visual and methodological connections between these realms. Using painting and 3D computer modelling in parallel to explore the constraints and possibilities that each offers, he addresses different aspects of his daily life and identity. His resolutely kitsch aesthetic, bright and playful, is inspired by music, television, and social media, and casts a critical eye on the world.

Surrey, Canada
Countries / Nations
Ajax, Canada


Liquid Crystals

In the project botanist, McKoy makes use of the trivial act of gardening to challenge humans’ domesticating relationship with nature. A small character wearing a hazmat suit—a watertight coverall that protects the individual against hazardous materials—stands atop a ladder watering a thirsty daisy with a shower of hearts. In the background, other flowers gently sway from right to left, their corollas brightened by happy faces. The little roly-poly anthropomorphic figure, who makes an appearance in some of McKoy’s other digital projects, is working its heart out in the virtual—though very alive—flower nursery, letting us in on the secret of this obvious horticultural success: love. In their costume covered with red plush—recalling the fine fluff on a leaf or the dense fur of a caterpillar—the character becomes part of the ecosystem that they are feeding. Light-heartedly, ironically, McKoy uncovers the control that we exert on nature through the jealously guarded maintenance of green spaces, making sure that each centimetre is tightly regimented for the pleasure of our gaze. botanist blends the collage techniques and forced perspective emblematic of his practice to compose a dreamlike, whimsical setting. Through his distinctive assemblage of images, he establishes the contours of an aesthetic of its own—both futuristic and archaic, realistic and dystopian, technological and handmade. With botanist, for an instant McKoy crystallizes temporalities, spaces, and concepts of nature / culture, playing with the paradoxes that emerge from the idea of garden.