Earl McBride

Born: 1963, Waynesboro, GA

Biography and Information

Earl McBride is a contemporary artist known for his large scale abstract paintings. By using various mark-making tools, McBride presents a visual exploration of identity, transformation, and dualities.

Growing up in the South in white, black, and gay culture, McBride cites white cotton, black tar, Sunday whites, gospel music, the Runaways, Boy George, rainbow stickers, and disco balls as his early inspiration. His childhood art hero was Don Martin, a cartoonist for Mad Magazine. He learned to draw by studying Mad, Cracked Magazine, and illustrations from the Bible. Interested in contradictions and the poetry of the human condition, McBride uses paint to describe dualities like ugly and beautiful, viscous and dry, oily and flat, thick and smooth, observer and participant, comedy and pathos, male and female, and negative and positive space.

McBride’s large-scale paintings are theatrical and unmeditated. Using spray paint, lithography grease pencils, thick oil paint straight from the tube, colored pencil, graphite, asphalt, and enamel marker, McBride transforms wooden panels into fields of discordant colors and shapes that look like both brash decisions and restrained calculated thoughts. These paintings were created over a two-year period when the artist, at age 51, transitioned from female to male.

Receiving his bachelor’s degree from Otis College of Art and Design, McBride spent many years working in art galleries before studying painting and drawing at the University of New Mexico Graduate Program. He has exhibited in Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe.

My process is rooted in storytelling. A story emerges, shifts, and morphs as the picture takes shape. Narrative and biography migrate into the process. Making art is my way of understanding the world. What interests me most is how we construct ourselves and the process of personal and cultural transformation.
-Earl McBride

MFA, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

BFA, University of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA

Made in ABQ, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

Pop Up, Sanitary Tortilla Factory, Albuquerque, NM

Homecoming, Form and Concept, Santa Fe, NM
Smile, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM (solo)
300 K Away, Gallery Fritz, Santa Fe, NM

Because It’s Time: Unraveling Race and Place in New Mexico, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM

The Alchemical Trace, Sanitary Tortilla Factory, Albuquerque, NM
I Used To Be A Rainbow: Earl McBride, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM (solo)
Encompass 2017, Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM
Desperately Seeking Other, Off Road Productions, Santa Fe, NM
We are in mysterious contact with the powers besieging us, ready to call forth a miracle, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM

Unstructured Merriment, 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
ZE: Sam McBride, Ayrton Chapman, and Sean Hudson, John Sommers Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

TOMFOOLERY, Sam McBride, Russell Arthur Bauer, and Jackie Riccio, Small Engine Gallery Albuquerque, NM
Fresh Paint: Earl McBride, CFA / Downtown, Albuquerque, NM (solo)

Connectivity, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM

At First Sight, SCA, Albuquerque, NM
TOAST + COWBOYS: Sam McBride & Clayton Porter, curated by Cyndi Conn, Off Road Productions, Santa Fe, NM
Desperately Seeking Others, Off Road Productions, Santa Fe, NM

Underground Mesa, Red Dot Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Wig Lawn Collaborative Drawings: Sam McBride & Bartley Johnson, Contemporary Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM

Sam McBride: Wig Lawn, Contemporary Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM
The Coyote Electric, House Party, Pasadena, CA

Last Call, Purple, Venice

Painting on Purpose, Purple, Venice, CA
Monitored, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Time Machine, Purple, Venice, CA

Untitled, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
True Believer, Purple, Venice, CA
Formless, Purple, Venice, CA

Scratch and Sniff, Purple, Venice, CA

The Late Show, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Tape, House Party, Pasadena, CA

The Juicy Love Show, Loft 214, E. Los Angles, CA


Nancy Zastudil, Review: Thirtieth Anniversary Show at Richard Levy Gallery, Southwest Contemporary, June 18
Maria Manuela, Five Things to Do This Weekend, New Mexico Magazine, June 18

Kathaleen Roberts, Artist embraces many influences, Albuquerque Journal, January 12

Nancy Zastudil, Earl McBride, “I Used to be a Rainbow” at Richard Levy Gallery, art ltd., April 28
ArtBeat Santa Fe, live interview with Kathryn Davis, April 22nd

Clayton Porter & Lauren Tresp, Studio Visit: Earl McBride, THE Magazine, November, interview and cover

Enrique Limon, Her Daily Bread: Sam McBride is the Toastess with the Mostess, Santa Fe Reporter
Michael Abatemarco, Sourdough Dudes: “Toast + Cowboys”, Pasatiempo
Honey Harris, KBAC Radio Free Santa Fe
Curator, Cyndi Conn and Michael Freed of Off Road Productions on TOAST + COWBOYS: Sam McBride and Clayton Porter
Kathyn Davis’ Podcast KVSF 101.5 | The Voice of Santa Fe ARTBEAT, Podcast interview for TOAST + COWBOYS

No Hands, Collection of Drawings a
nd Short Story, Self Published, Santa Fe, NM

Eroticon, Collection of Drawings, Anthology published by 7000 BC, Santa Fe, NM

Fast Forward, Short Story “Rest Stop”, Published by Foundation Press, Los Angeles, CA

All You can Eat, Short Story “Fear of Walking”, Published by Foundation Press, Los Angeles, CA

Diablo, Short Story “Oarfish Lane: A Love Story”, Published by Second Hand, Los Angeles, CA

Press Release
2021 Made in ABQ at Richard Levy Gallery
2019 Smile at Richard Levy Gallery
2017 I Used To Be A Rainbow at Richard Levy Gallery