Jimmy Mac was born in Lafayette, Louisiana on Sept. 11, 1958. He grew up travelling the I-10 corridor between Lafayette and his family's rice farm south of Lake Arthur, on the Mermentau River between Cameron and Vermilion Parish.
As a teenager he enrolled at the University of Louisiana Lafayette (then USL), and travelled extensively in Europe as a student in the UNO-Innsbruck exchange program. He graduated Amherst College, Amherst, MA in Jan. 1980 with a degree in English. As part of the Five College program he studied photography under Jerome Leibling, Elaine May, and Bill Arnold at Hampshire College, and printmaking under Barry Sease at Mount Holyoke.
In 1976, Jimmy and fellow Louisiana artist Rick Begneaud began working summer jobs on the island of Captiva, FL for Rick's uncle Robert Rauschenberg. For Jimmy, this was the beginning of a transformative period that reshaped his perceptions, worldview, and aesthetic vision. He observed, first hand, his mentor's processes; the technical dynamics of producing large integrated structural paintings (Combines). In their assemblage, Jimmy absorbed the symbolism, interpreted the values, and developed a sense of place and order for his own work. This association and their friendship spanned more than three decades until Rauschenberg's death in 2008.
Jimmy Mac is best known as a musician. He moved to NYC in August of 1982 and began performing as Loup Garou. The band was a fixture on the New York club scene for twenty years. Their first release, the self-titled Loup Garou (Virgin/France 1992) received a New York City Music Awards nomination for Best Album by a Debut Band. Other Loup Garou recordings include Calling All Angels (1996) 10 Wines from Job's Vineyard (1997), and Dobbs' Ferry (2002).
Over the years, Jimmy's accordion style and songwriting earned him many fans and opportunities to collaborate with other artists. His credits include Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Paul Simon, Bryan Ferry, Robert Palmer, David Byrne, John Sayles, and Sesame Street.
Jimmy Mac moved to New Orleans in 2004 and began painting in the fall of 2005. He has to date completed nearly 200 canvasses. Many can be viewed at jimmymacstudios.com. Jimmy's work has been exhibited in New Orleans at KK Projects (Allons á Lafayette, 2008); Galerie Gigi (The Mixed Bag, 2009); and Sibley Gallery (Escarpment, 2010; Côterie Louisiane 2010).
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