Jonathan McAfee

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Jonathan McAfee
Denver, Colorado - United States







I am an observer. Throughout my life my observations are what keep me interested and intrigued with our society and culture, past and present. Whether watching a film, appreciating a record, reading a book or studying a work of art, we are all observing something special and unique. I take these observations and turn them into paintings that I find aesthetically pleasing. Most of my images are pulled from websites and stock photography. I enjoy the process of taking something that has little to no meaning to me and making it my own, allowing it to take on new life. I don’t claim that my paintings have meaning. I’ve tried to make that claim in the past but later felt like I was lying and was just trying to impress others. If one finds something attractive with my application of paint, color palette or subject matter, then suddenly that is the meaning.

For the past several years I have focused my energy and efforts on painting people. And although I don’t want to be labeled as a portrait painter, that is how most people would describe me. The subjects of my paintings aren’t important nor are their stories or backgrounds. At the end of the day, the finished painting is all that’s left and, to me, all that matters.


Jonathan McAfee (b. 1982) is an American painter working in Denver, CO. After graduating from Herron School of Art and Design (Indianapolis) with a B.F.A. in painting, McAfee began focusing on the figure and more specifically the portrait.

He has exhibited in solo exhibitions at The Harrison Center for the Arts (Indianapolis, IN) and The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (Indianapolis, IN). His numerous group exhibitions include "Red Wolf Gallery" (Denver, CO) and "The Self-Portrait Show" at Gallery 924 (Indianapolis, IN). McAfee was honored with both the Charles Yeager Painting Award and the Marvin Bradley Drawing Award (2005) as well as the prestigious Prelude Award from the Indianapolis Children's Museum (1999).

McAfee's work is collected throughout the U.S. as well as Europe, and he is the co-owner of Red Wolf Gallery in Denver.


2016  EVANSVILLE MUSEUM OF ART (solo), Evansville, IN
2015  RED WOLF GALLERY, Denver, CO
         GENERAL PUBLIC COLLECTIVE, Indianapolis, IN
         3MASS GALLERY (solo), Indianapolis, IN
         GALLERY 924 (solo), Indianapolis, IN
         THE ATTIC GALLERY, Indianapolis, IN
         INVOKE STUDIOS (solo), Indianapolis, IN
         INDY READS BOOKS (solo), Indianapolis, IN
         FLETCHER PLACE ART + BOOKS (solo), Indianapolis, IN
2013  GALLERY 924, Indianapolis, IN
2012  THE HARRISON CENTER FOR THE ARTS (solo), Indianapolis, IN
2011  EARTH HOUSE COLLECTIVE (solo), Indianapolis, IN
         GALLERY 924, Indianapolis, IN
         THE HARRISON CENTER FOR THE ARTS (solo), Indianapolis, IN
2010  THE HARRISON CENTER FOR THE ARTS (solo), Indianapolis, IN


Charles Yeager Painting Award, Herron School of Art and Design – 2005
Marvin Bradley Drawing Award, Herron School of Art and Design - 2005
Prelude Award, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis - 1999


■  Featured on Avant Arte as a Launching Partner, October, 25, 2015,

■ Listed on SaatchiArt under their “New this Week” section, July, 6, 2015,

■ Rob Peoni, “Jonathan McAfee’s Last Hurrah”, Sky Blue Window, Indianapolis, IN, July 7, 2015,

■ Kelly Stone, “First Friday Art Opening: Classical Waste”, Pattern Magazine, Indianapolis, IN, March 5, 2015,

■ Casey Webb, “Artist Interview: Jonathan McAfee - painter”, Jung Katz, Portland, OR, Aug. 20, 2014, 

■ Leslie Bailey, "Week in Obsessions: porch party, Vonnegut art and more”, The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN, July 8, 2014,

■ Michael Anthony Adams, “Kurt Vonnegut's face inspires new portrait series”, The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN, July 8, 2014,  [video]

■ Chi Sherman, “15 Vonneguts”, Sky Blue Window, Indianapolis, IN, July 7, 2014, 

■ Dan Grossman, “Jonathan McAfee’s portraits of Vonnegut”, Nuvo, Indianapolis, IN, July 7, 2014, 

■ Dan Grossman, “Exuberant Expression”, Nuvo, Indianapolis, IN, Aug. 31, 2011,