+1 ::: Why are
you an artist Mark?
From a young age I've felt compelled to
make images that communicate my opinions
and feelings on a range of issues, from
personal matters to topics that relate
to us all. I thrive on realizing the challenges
I set myself artistically.
::: Could you tell us about your recent
My current work addresses mortality, the
affect of time, and our inclination to
involve routine in our daily lives - whether
it be a conscious decision or an accidental
pattern that just develops, routine exists
in most of our lives. For some, routine
may be rigorous, performing the same actions
or duties with little variation from day
to day. It may be self-imposed, with the
intention of gaining comfort by surrounding
ourselves with familiar places, people
and habits. Sometimes we find ourselves
performing similar tasks over and over
without the choice of doing so, for example,
when we are at work. For others routine
is synonymous with boredom and so the
act of repetition may be kept to a minimum
or avoided altogether. For most of us
however, we find ourselves bound to live
our lives with some type of underlying
structure as the world simultaneously
progresses and decays around us. Regardless
of our differences in beliefs and the
way we live our lives, we all attempt
to define a purpose of existence and prolong
currently working on a series of still
life paintings. Using a diptych format,
I paint an almost identical image of common
objects on each canvas. The objects are
carefully chosen for their capacity to
form an allegorical narrative. The two
images represent a different timeframe.
The difference in time may be years, days,
hours, or perhaps just moments apart and
can be ultimately determined by the viewer.
The subtle shift in content from one canvas
with the next encourages curious inspection
and tempts the viewer to discover variations
of subject matter.
+3 ::: Could
you explain why you use text in some of
your work, and how you use it?
I first used text in a series of paintings
I completed in 2003. The paintings, also
in diptych format, depict an image of
a real location on one canvas with text
describing how to get to that location
from a specific place on the other side
of the world, on the other canvas. The
text describes in detail how to navigate,
using public transport mostly, from one
side of the world to the other. The directions
are surprisingly short, illustrating how
small our world really is and the relative
simplicity and accessibility of travel
today. The paintings also deal with the
subject of globalization and the ease
of international transactions.
recently I've been using text differently,
simple 'one liners' are incorporated in
a series of abstracts. They're intended
to be fun and counteract the more serious
nature of my still life series of paintings
I'm currently working on.
+4 ::: What artists
have influenced you, and how?
Richter - for his commitment to push
the medium of paint to its limits.
Bacon - not afraid of the dark, disturbed
Caravaggio - for his murderous competitiveness
and use of chiaroscuro.
Dutch Still Life Painting - for the use
of symbology to communicate meanings and
beautiful use of light.
Hirst and Co - for his take on death
and his ability to pull a crowd.
Richard Prince - for his sense of humor.
+5 ::: What inspires
you to paint and how do you keep motivated
when things get tough in the studio?
I feel I owe it to myself to paint. An
inner drive exists that makes painting
a priority for me. When things get tough
I take 'drastic measures' with my painting
and then rest when things are okay again.
If I don't feel like painting some days
- I don't! Natural motivation always seems
+6 ::: Where
do you see yourself in 10 years?
I wouldn't like to forecast what my art
should look like in 10 years because predictability
is boring. I do, however, want to continue
creating opportunities for myself that
will broaden the audience of my work.
I want to be as inspired and enthusiastic
as I am now to make art.
+7 ::: What advice
would you give to an artist just starting
Unlike many vocations being an artist
means having the potential to work throughout
a lifetime and continually develop. Being
in my late twenties, I'm an emerging artist
and in the context of a lifetime, just
starting out myself. My advice to those
with ambitions of being an artist, I think
self-belief, determination and endurance
are essential. Success won't just happen
so being an artist requires commitment.
Having a good knowledge of art history
and keeping in touch with the contemporary
art scene helps an artist to contextualize
their work and then push their own boundaries
to strive for originality. Knowing your
craft and being prepared to experiment