Today the Collective is as proud as we are humbled in the presentation of the following feature. Looking back, we’ve had a greatly diverse range of Arts and Artists bring us to this point. Now, the texture of the fabric from which the LIFESTYLE is built gets only richer with the incorporation of Mark Mann‘s Reflection and Response artist feature.
Coming out of BK, hailing from Oklahoma City and Santa Fe; here is a Man as Eclectic Americana as the craft of his production. Check the interview and original artwork below!
Reflection is self-awareness. We are continually considering our thoughts, experiences and the people that are significant in our lives. The process of reflection is vital to my understanding of who I am and is a guide to looking forward—staking out the future. My artistic interests are a response to these collective ideas…
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
MM: I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During my college years, I found a second home in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was later drawn to the energy and diversity of New York City. I currently live and work in Brooklyn, although I sometimes feel like I still reside in all three– if that makes sense.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
MM: To me reflection is self-awareness. We are continually considering our thoughts, experiences and the people that are significant in our lives. The process of reflection is vital to my understanding of who I am and is a guide to looking forward—staking out the future. My artistic interests are a response to these collective ideas and as a result, my work has focused primarily on family relationships and the American experience.
How do Median Family and Breakfast Special fit in with that definition?
MM: In the most basic of terms, my artwork finds its origins in the sampling of Americana postcards from the mid 20th century. One image entitled Median Family comes to mind. It depicts a family of four caught between two points— where they are going and where they have been. There is an underlying insecurity in their position and posture, but at the same time they are bound together in a protective group. The curve of the road and lack of information adds an amount of tension I am drawn to in most of my works and it seems to be the perfect mixture of my suburban and city experiences.
Another example is Breakfast Special, The Mother Road. An image created from the fading of newsprint that focuses on the idea of seeking comfort and diversion in one’s life. Highlighting the freedom and clarity gained from travel is the central element, but there is the presence of branding and commercialism that pervades this experience–even in the wide-open spaces of the American west. This contradiction is interesting to me.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
MM: Lately, my work involves experimenting with a variety of materials and alternatives to drawing. I’ve made it a priority to not get comfortable with past processes and continually take up new techniques. From invisible ink to white wine, I am searching for materials that conceptually reinforce the subjects they render. In addition, I’m currently setting up a new studio space, so I look forward to working in a larger scale and “hands on” way that will be very different from my earlier computer-based imagery.
Who or what inspires you?
MM: Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to meet up with some other Brooklyn-based artists who are doing compelling work. I’m always inspired by their creative vision and there’s a camaraderie there I haven’t had since art school. I look for any opportunity to collaborate with them on a future curated show or event.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
MM: The Amsterdam-based magazine, Eyemazing, will include my recent artist feature in their “Best of Eyemazing Book” due out this year. The article and other works may be viewed at http://www.markmannmade.com
Shout out to…?
MM: The entire family. All the in-laws and out-laws. They have always been there for me and I’m thankful.
Reflection and Response.