MLAK (Karlee Mackie)Always the artist, was “ born with crayons in her hands “ so to speak.
Her fearlessness in self expression has been shown throughout her formative years.
Always painting and expressing her ideas through words and imagery from a very young age.
Karlee was Australia’s first female professional free surfer turned artist based in Byron Bay NSW. The artist approaches painting organically, adapting and evolving to create work that plays with motif in space. Dynamic, youthful and fun, MLAK translates across scale, articulating in an original voice.
MLAK has had the opportunity to assist the extremely talented Angus McDonald, an Australian contemporary visual artist, refugee advocate, columnist, and documentary filmmaker. He continues to be a mentor to her, for her career and life.
Surfing all around the world, she started to paint her fellow athletes’ surfboards on the world qualifying tour, which led to collaborating with International brands.
Her first trip to NYC to film a surf film for the Brand Globe, was one that marked the beginning of the notion, you can create a life being an Artist.
A naive 20 yr old, MLAK was luckily exposed to a life changing situation, when she was recommended to watch the 1996 Indy film by Julian Schnabel “ Basquiat “ on the artist Jean Michel Basquiat, as the next day they planned to catch the train to Rockaway Beach to surf with Julian and his son Vito Schnabel, Thom Sachs and Pat Conlon. Jamie Brisick an American writer, photographer, and filmmaker and then wife Gisela Mata a filmmaker opened her mind to a whole new dream. The experience of meeting Julian, watching the film and seeing Damien Hurst show, downtown Chelsea was enough to ignite a fire within.
MLAK’s talent is versatile and recognised. In addition to her visual artworks, she has lent her skills to international brands and notable families alike.
Invited by some of the world’s best-known surf brands to collaborate on their labels ( Rusty, Globe, Electric ). MLAK has illustrated Wedding stationery for Sam + Bellie Branson ( Richard Branson’s son ) The wedding book invitation was also featured in HELLO magazine. Designed a personalised Christmas card for Natalie Imbruglia, sold artworks to Christian Wilkins, son of Richard Wilkins.
Donating artwork for the company AIME and collaborating with MJ Bale suits and having these in RUSSH magazine as a few examples of where her work has landed.
Through MLAK, Karlee works to explore a new level of her identity, taking inspiration from the world that surrounds her to create pieces which evoke real feelings of connection, yet also challenges the viewers’ sensibilities to help them dive deeper into themselves.
Represented By Thom Gallery in Byron Bay and Twenty Twenty Six Gallery in Bondi with Martine Edmur she is thankful and to also join the Van Rensburg Gallery. MLAK is also becoming known in the new space of selling NFT’s.
Her artwork is so dynamic it translates easily being quite chameleon-like, shape shifting to adapt to any space, like her personality.
Heavily female inspired with symbolism woven into her works, sharing cryptic messages in a fun array of an interesting use of colour.
MLAK has transcended her art work as her new magic carpet, from surfboard to canvas, Karlee wants to create abundance and colour using her creativity for a better world.
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