British, b. 1963
Dave McKean was born in Taplow, Berkshire in 1963. Between 1982-1986 he attended the Berkshire College of Art and Design. He has illustrated and designed over eighty award winning and ground-breaking books and graphic novels including The Magic of Reality (Richard Dawkins); The Homecoming (Ray Bradbury); The Fat Duck Cookbook and Historic Heston (Heston Blumenthal); What’s Welsh for Zen (John Cale); Varjak Paw and Phoenix (SF Said); The Savage, Slog’s Dad, Mouse Bird Snake Wolf, and Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (David Almond); Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison); Voodoo Lounge (the Rolling Stones); Night Shift, Wizard and Glass, and The Colorado Kid (Stephen King); I Am Legend (Richard Matheson) and Mr. Punch, Signal to Noise, Violent Cases, Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls, American Gods, and The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman). He has written and illustrated Cages (Harvey, Pantera, Ignatz and Alph Art awards), two Pictures That Tick volumes of short stories (V&A Book of the Year), the erotic novel Celluloid, and Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, a commission by the 14-18 Now Foundation and the Imperial War Museum.
The multimedia live performance of Black Dog was featured at Tate Britain, the Somme Memorial in Amiens, and many festivals in Europe and Canada. He has also performed his Nine Lives project at the Sydney Opera House and British Library, and co-created and performed An Ape’s Progress with composer Iain Ballamy and poet Matthew Sweeney at the Manchester Jazz and Literature Festivals in 2015.
He was chosen by Apple as one of their thirty key creatives representing thirty years since the launch of the Apple Mac (Dave’s year was 1994, the year he created the first Photoshop comics covers for the hugely influential Sandman series, and the first original online interactive narrative, Club Salsa).
McKean has directed five short films and three feature films: MirrorMask for the Jim Henson Company / Sony Pictures, Luna (Raindance Festival Best British Feature and BIFA awards), and The Gospel of Us with Michael Sheen (two Bafta Cymru awards). He is currently editing his fourth feature, Wolf’s Child, adapted from his own play, created with the Wildworks theatre company.
He is Director of Story at the three-Michelin-star Fat Duck in Bray and has created murals and packaging for Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants in the UK and Australia. His work is in private and public collections around the world, and he continues to insist that story has a crucial place in art, creating narrative exhibitions at the Pump House in London (The Rut), and Rye Art Gallery in East Sussex (The Coast Road and Blue Tree). He has designed and illustrated nearly two hundred LP packages for, amongst others, Michael Nyman, Tori Amos, Real World, Altan, Fear Factory, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Bill Laswell, Alice Cooper, Roy Harper, Dream Theater, Counting Crows, Front Line Assembly, and Bill Bruford. He is currently working on a retrospective book, and illustrations for Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky), Neuromancer (William Gibson), and the Gormenghast trilogy (Mervyn Peake). He lives on the Isle of Oxney in Kent, England, with his wife and studio manager Clare.