In my most recent work I try to approach each drawing/collage without preconception or intent. In other words, there is no "big idea" present before I begin. Instead it has been an exploration into the chosen materials or markings themselves. There is usually an ambiguous starting point — sometimes a particular word or phrase, for instance the recent phrase "Seven Ton Moonbeam" translated itself into "C Jumping a Waterfall." In my mind, a word or phrase can predetermine the potential direction an image may take. It is through this exploration the resulting images begin to hold a personal significance for me. These current sets of images represent a single freeze-frame, taken from a set of fictional events, or possibly obscured personal narratives. Often there is the feeling that something has taken place before or after. Or that something is about to happen, as if it were a scene lifted from a dream. The events depicted relate more to a dreamlike adventure than real-life circumstances. I have also chosen to explore familiar images from childhood and alter them in order to evoke a fake history or inspire nostalgia for a period in time that never truly existed. I have great interest in the fragility each image holds, the impossible combination that occurs only during sleep and dreaming, and the personal glossary of ideas that expand from this state. I like to think of the scraps of found imagery as the point of departure for the story, rather than my forcing a story upon them. This is why it is important that the material I choose carry its own previous history. The process of collecting disparate scraps from science textbooks, old magazines, children's coloring books and other found material becomes as much a part of the emerging image as the mark-making. A piece often becomes about the search and desire to combine those emergent narrative symbols that seem charged with a familiar yet distant emotion. When successful, all the elements fall together with irony and tension while all other realities are obliterated, leaving the viewer as participant inside the picture. The image then carries the weight of an obscure, personal "reality." Most important, the final image actually gains a significant evocative quality I could not have expressed in any other way.
Biography: Born in Port Huron, Michigan. Went to college to earn a BFA in Graphic Design in 1985. Then a few semesters at Wayne State University - and finally Mark earned an MFA in ceramic sculpture from the University of Cincinnati. Mark went on to work as an designer, professor, occasionaly working in clay, collage, digital media and soundscapes. Mark currently lives in Snowmass Village CO.
Country: United States
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