New Geoff McFetridge Art Show Mixes Meditation And Hallucination With Beautiful Results

The artist behind the interfaces of Her unveils new work in Copenhagen.


The work of Geoff McFetridge is as adaptable as it is enjoyable. Whether on skateboards, city streets, art galleries, or in feature films, it can draw you in.

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Most recently we’ve been able to enjoy it through the graphic and interface design of Spike Jonze’s Oscar-winning film Her, or while waiting for our tea to steep. But the artist also now has a show running at Copenhagen’s V1 Gallery called Meditallucination, featuring 13 new paintings.

The title mixes meditation and hallucination because McFetridge says the work aims to cross both territories in a viewer’s mind. “The images are reduced nearly to abstraction, so they are not only seen, but ‘read’,” he says. “Many are sort of puzzled together in the viewers mind. This act takes you on a small narrative. This narrative is a bit cyclical; you end up back where you started. I feel this is a bit like a mediation.

“Hallucinations, in that in the paintings I treat familiar imagery like plastic, manipulating it for my purposes,” McFetridge says. “Hallucinations, as I understand them, are made of the raw material of our brain, beyond experience. They are unlike dreams in that they are not made up of our memories. I want my paintings to be like hallucinations in that they are built from the raw materials that are nearly hard wired into our minds.”

The pieces turn seemingly mundane, everyday scenes into beautiful, compelling, and witty images. McFetridge says he gets his inspiration from all over the place. “Some were drawn while sitting on the beach, but most were done in the studio,” he says. “The life drawings are starting out points for things that I imagine. They are meant to appear as actual things I have seen, even when they are not. There is a general exploration how abstract forms can be confronted by figurative imagery, and how each can tweak our understanding of the other.”

Meditallucination runs until April 26.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity.