Dear Art World, Please excuse Paul’s tardiness as he has suffered a comminuted Fx of the radius and humerus with magna angulation. Cause: Stendhal Syndrome.
As a teenager I experimented with gravity, performing stunts beyond any “stupid” or “don’t try this at home” reality TV show. And over the past fifteen years, I’ve bread-spread layers of my epidermis at breakneck speeds on the earth’s crust motoXing, mountain biking, trail running and even a downtown Boston motorcycle spill…all without skeletal carnage. So why would a plodding minus zero mph bike accident shatter my elbow in a thousand-piece single-shade puzzle? A Buddhist would say it was for a reason….maybe if I continued my trip I would have eaten Mack grill? OR, I wouldn’t have met the radiologist that will soon be my third wife? “No Paul,” that throaty parental voice echoed, “you’re old.”
What makes me feel young, innocent, fresh and alive? The work of Mark Demos. As I strolled around this year’s Fountain Art Fair, a wide-eyed boy in a store of porn and fuzzy wet dreams (sorry that’s the Oxy talking), I was surreptitiously drawn to Mark’s booth – close encounter-like, pulled by back-lit cryptic swaths of color found only in Pantone’s secret basement. “Over the last few years I’ve added light to my art for a dream affect. Strange how these paintings have become so cathartic that they make me feel like its a new life every day.” Mark explains. He attributes his supernatural palette wizardry to a negative personal incident “wrong place, wrong time,” but for me, his work must come from a deeper encounter from within.
As an exhibitor at the 2012 Fountain Art Fair, can you share your experience from your perspective? Showing at Fountain was a great experience… showing in that historic venue (69th Regiment Armory-68 Lexington Avenue and 25th Street) was exciting to see mine and others’ works in such an inspiring context. I thought my spot was great too because when you walked in you’d see my booth glowing all the way at the end of the space. I enjoyed time spent and speaking with exhibitors, gallerists, & art lovers at Fountain. The event was organized and still had the laid back Fountain feel but all involved stepped it up and made this event a blast to be part of.
All great artist strive to evolve, try new mediums, methods and test their creativity. What inspired the incorporation of light with your work? I was inspired to incorporate light once I felt my paintings became more like memories of a memory so it was dreamy. I added light for the dream affect. I love how the light adds dimension and more life to my works! Some people prefer no light… the paintings are meant to be seen in 3 ways/moods. The pieces can be viewed front light- with no back illumination front light and illuminating and in the dark illuminated.
When did you first discover your creative talents? I first discovered my creative talents when I was a young child wearing a garbage bag, playing with my kitchen sink… my mother would give me food coloring and a bunch of clear jars and glasses and I’d mix the colors with the running water. I’d watch the colors move, change hues and form. I’d be hypnotized and play with the sink all day. I’ve since changed medium but feel the same can be told about what I do in my studio every day.
For an artist, selling their first piece of work is a memorable moment. Tell us about your first piece or a special piece that was sold. My first piece of art I sold was quite memorable because I hadn’t sold to anyone and had tons of work stockpiled in my rent stabilized apt. I was recommended by a friend to do the office of a financial company on Water St. in lower Manhattan. I met her connection and gave him 4 pictures of my work I printed 10 mins before the meeting. We met on the Union Square steps and the meeting was brief. He later called me and asked how much work I had… I told him. He later stopped by and bought ALL of my work. This gave me enough to rent my first art studio- what a stroke of good fortune. I’m so grateful to still have the luxury of an art studio today.
Who are your favorite artists? When it comes to favorite artists Richter is high on the list. Gerhard Richter has inspired me every time I view his work… online to recently at the Tate. His use of color and expression through abstraction cannot be matched. I also love Rothko because when I was a kid I thought ” I could do that”. I was wrong. His paintings glow and shake like no other and dark to light they will always shake us up with good and bad mood swings. My third on today’s list of favorite artists will finish with Adolph Gottlieb who creates gorgeously designed circles. I am obsessed with the motion of circles and to find Gottlieb later in life, makes me feel like we have something in common with one of the greats!
Since the show? I’ve been painting outside on my roof and will be showing works on my roof so when you’re on the Brooklyn Bridge you can see a piece. I recently found a new work space way downtown lower Manhattan and it’s big so I look forward to working there. I have a few galleries interested in my work one on the LES and the other in CT. Hope to do a solo show soon.
Visit Mark Demos: