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About Ian

He has not only become a No 1 Best-Selling author on Amazon with his art related book “The Storytelling Artist – The Road to Controversial Art”, but he has turned the life experiences of his career in South Wales Police to his creative advantage.

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The result emerges on the canvas before you in a photorealism style of art. And the moment his art captures your attention is the moment when the storytelling begins.

Towards the end of his career, Ian returned to art and being self-taught, started creating portraits in oils of both people and animals for clients, gravitating towards a photorealism style of art. This in turn, encompassed his experiences of social and political situations, and flourished into a collection of artwork which represents his encounters of managing and protecting politicians, members of royal families and the parliamentary estate of the National Assembly for Wales.

Ian is currently a Resident Artist with Blackwater Gallery in Cardiff Bay, which is an up and coming contemporary art space. He has exhibited there six times including a SOLO SHOW of his current collection called "The Heritage Series".


In conclusion, Ian says that it is his sole aim to tell his story, the story of others and their plight through art, and make people stop, view, and think of what they have just seen.


“There is no money in art” voiced the Careers Advisor, as Ian attempted to make a choice between his exciting creative talent and the monotonous ‘A’ Level subjects ahead. Any ambition he had in the world of art ended abruptly there.

Over thirty years later, with one successful profession under his belt, Ian stated that in terms of art, the above remark was the best advice he had ever received.


The self-taught artist brings situations and characters to life on canvas, each with an individual story to tell. His recent controversial theme blends the subjects of politics, figures of authority and nationalism, exploring their world, combining them with his varied life experiences.

Ian was brought up in a terraced street in Penarth, South Wales, UK, spending most of his early years enjoying and creating art, studying it at O Level. However, his path took him into a career with South Wales Police. There, he gained skills from a vast array of departments and learned from the exposure to the harshness of life.

Ian see here with leading UK Comedian Simon Brodkin receiving his portrait after his hilarious stunt at Glastonbury with Kanye West.

This painting is called "Alas Poor Kanye"

Ian is hugely motivated by the current work of Mitch Griffiths and of course the master of light and dark, Caravaggio.

He has exhibited at a number of galleries and locations in Wales and England, and won several awards including the Open Art Lannion Award 2020 at Y Galeri, Caerphilly, with his artwork “Once Upon a Time in the West II”, and the Visitors Choice 2021 with “Land of Passion – Gwlad Llawn Angerdd”.

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Blackwater Gallery recently hosted their very first "An Evening with .... Ian Mackenzie", which entailed Ian being interviewed in person in front of an audience, entertaining them with his stories of his childhood, creating his artwork, and the hilarious encounters from his police career of 30 years.


He still lives in his hometown and can be found on Facebook and Instagram 


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