Michael McVeigh was born in 1957 in the post-war council estate of Lochee, Dundee located on the north west of the city, one of five children. He left school with no formal qualifications; however he wanted to be an artist and so began, unannounced, going to classes at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, his presence being challenged eventually. James Morrison, then one of the lecturers, formalised his position and accepted him as a full-time student based only on his outstanding drawings and painting.
Since moving to Edinburgh in 1982 McVeigh became a familiar figure seen regularly working in the city and until a few years ago as a street artist. Life as a street artist brought a certain amount of unwanted celebrity status, especially in recent years, becoming a cult figure sought out by the city’s stag and hen parties, eventually having to limit tourists to ‘one photo only’.
Michael McVeigh is a modern day folk artist who depicts the world around him. He is a participant observer who has created a naïve and sophisticated setting for contemporary life and history. There is something of the medieval chronicler about him; he draws and paints what is there, and what is worth depicting because it is an essential, occasionally quirky, part of human existence.
His works are held in both public and private collections including town halls, pubs, fishmongers and a number of municipal and national institutions.