Splendid Isolation  24 x 24  Acrylic on panel.

Hi everyone,

For those of you who collect my work, you know I love to paint houses. It’s how I started my career in the 80’s as a California painter, highly influenced by Edward Hopper, my true north at the time. Now my style has evolved along with my palette and content, with influences ranging from contemporary muralists (grafitti) to politics to conceptual art.  Moving to New Mexico has also expanded my artistic horizons – there are so many world class artists here.

Side note: These are the artists I’m enjoying right now: Bisa Butler, Tim Okomura, Nani Chacon, Jodie HerreraZanele Muholi, Michael Borremans. Check them out if you have not seen their artwork yet; you’re in for a real treat.

No way in, no way out.

Splendid Isolation has no visible way in or out of that tiny house.  In unexpected ways, we are compelled during this time in history to face ourselves and there appears to be no escaping this fact for the time being.  This particular painting is titled “Splendid Isolation” named after one of my favorite songwriters Warren Zevon who wrote a song by the same name. At first look it is a simple painting but there is more to the story.  To me it symbolizes the mental journey we must take during the current situation of Covid 19 and examine how we are dealing with imposed isolation and quarantine.

I’m also wanting to express my views on equality in America right now.  Usually we associate beach front property with wealth and prestige. I’m flipping it here by acknowledging all of us belong in that sweet spot: ocean front property with the best view. No matter your color, race, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, or gender identification, we all desire to live in a beautiful world together and we can get there faster, with less pain for all, if our minds are in the right (more egalitarian and empathic) place.

What’s up with the laundry?

This pandemic has hit many of us hard with the feeling of isolation and subsequent economic fallout but I know we are trying to work on our inner strength, too. This can’t help be but a good thing. We are hanging our laundry, watching TV, doing dishes, taking care of kids, going to our jobs, procrastinating, volunteering, asking ourselves WTF? and saying hi to our neighbors. A simple chore like laundry is now something I appreciate doing as I am grateful for many things now that I wasn’t before. The polka dot socks on the laundry line bring a bit of humor to the painting, to remind us all of the levity that needs to occur in our lives if we want to stay sane through all of this.

My studio is small. It happens to need a new roof. Yet it is full of music, family, my rescue dogs, and creativity.  I realize more and more, I am the lucky one. I have a studio…what a privilege. I don’t think about my leaky roof when I’m talking to other artists and friends and knowing we are all together doing our best in this moment, creating and pushing positive vibes out into this world through our art and friendship.

My newest body of work features a different take on landscapes.  Once the show is complete, I’ll send you an invite.

Take care everyone and know that I am wishing you well.  We are walking down that road together.

Mark

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