The 'F' Interview with Mark Posey
I strolled around downtown during the December Artwalk. I’ve been out of town for the past year, so I was looking forward to seeing something fresh. The Hive Gallery is a reliable spot for discovering “buzz-worthy” work and sure enough, right around the corner towards the back- I saw Mark Posey’s work. If you go to the next Artwalk, it’s a must-see. It’s new. It’s daring. It’s trippy as hell.
Mark Posey work is distorted, yet the imagery is recognizable and never lost. You feel like you have beer goggles on, or are viewing his work from the vantage point from beneath the surface of pool water. To really take in Mark’s work, you almost need to take a break, rest and refocus your eyes, and then try a new vantage point. The literally fluid nature of his work gives each piece a fascinating sense of slow motion- as if he was painting with thick molasses.
His artistic style reminds me of scenes from the Vincent Price horror classic, “House of Wax”; when the wax figures dramatically melt during a fire. The purposeful blurring of something that was originally beautifully painted, is juxtaposition I love. You can tell the process starts with a well-painted work that is then “destroyed” by the artist. He creates and then recreates, often referencing famous works. Mark’s aesthetic offers endless potential for exploration. If he ever does live painting - Do not miss the opportunity to see him work his magic.
Rick Galiher: Factoids (What is your background and any interesting trivia about you?)
Mark Posey: For one reason or another, I have just recently found a way to feel comfortable showing my art to the public. When I was 10 years old or so, I was making paintings in my room. My mother found them and for some reason, I was so upset that I decided to smash them all. She bought me an easel and paints for Christmas that year and I immediately decided to smash them too. Art has always been a very personal thing for me, and I am glad that I have recently found a way to feel comfortable sharing my work with others.
RG: Fear (What scares you the most?)
MP: I am afraid that I won’t be able to live my life through artistic means.
RG: Fights (What artistic battles have you been faced with?)
MP: I have gotten into a pretty serious fight with most of the paintings I have ever made. To be clear, the paintings usually win. Sometimes however, I am able to make a painting I am happy with.
RG: Fear (What is one thing real or imagined scares you?)
MP: Sharks. Big ones.
RG: Fame (Is that something your aspire to?)
MP: Every artist would agree that being recognized for your work by the art world is a tremendous honor. A great ambition of mine is to become a permanent part of the art worlds vernacular, “That's a very Posey-esque painting.”
RG: Favoritism (Do feel it is hard to break into the art world?)
MP: Not anymore. The Internet has been invaluable for emerging artists.
RG: Focus (How did you develop your distinctive technique?)
MP: I have had countless styles of art throughout the years, mainly because I have realized that it is perfectly OK to fail. My current style is one that I discovered and immediately connected with. I will continue with this style until I feel I have nothing more to add. This could take 1 year, or it could take forever.
RG: Fortune (Are you in this for the money?)
MP: No. Wait… Yes. My rent is overdue.
RG: Flow (How do you manage a daily routine of creating art?)
MP: Art is largely about the process for me, and getting myself in a certain creative mood. I have found much of my process to be very therapeutic, which is why I dedicate such a huge part of my life to it, whether it be getting photo references, building panels to paint on, painting, making frames, e-mailing galleries etc…
RG: Finite (Do you ever revisit works you thought you had finished?)
MP: I keep my paintings for a lot longer than I should. My graveyard increases daily, but I pretty much know when a painting is too bad to salvage though.
RG: Fire (What lights your’s artistically?)
MP: Originality, style, design.
RG: Fate (Do you believe in it?)
MP: It keeps me going.
RG: Frontiers (How do you want to advance art?)
MP: I want to introduce a new style and new technique to the art world. To make people rethink what paint can do, and move paint in a way that has never been seen before.
RG: Fascination (What is about your technique that appeals to you?)
MP: I feel like my technique really embodies myself as a person. It’s careful, but not too careful.
RG: Format (What other art medium are you interested in trying?)
MP: I will learn how to make art of every sort. Painting, sculpting, printmaking etc…. I have already begun my journey.
RG: Freedom (As a working artist, what do you enjoy most about your freedom to create?
MP: Not having any guidelines is obviously very appealing to me. I get to set my own schedule, crank up some tunes, and paint whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s pretty amazing really. The freedom I have in life shows through my work and really helps my ideas be felt.
RG: Firsts (What was the first piece of art you sold and how did it feel?)
MP: I sold my first abstract still life to my mom’s friend for $50. I want it back.
RG: Food (What do you crave?)
MP: Burritos- all day.
RG: Fun (What do you do for fun and in your free time?)
MP: In my free time I write and record music, sew clothes, ride my bike aimlessly, and watch my friend Brandon try on sunglasses. It’s hilarious.
RG: Family (How much does family influence your work?)
RG: Fuss (What drives you nuts about the art world?)
MP: Seeing people buy bad art.
RG: Faith (What is yours?)
MP: Believe only in yourself.
RG: Fashion (What’s your look?)
MP: My style changes all the time: crust hunk, prep, old man, mod, and normie … many of my favorite clothes I have gotten from the dollar store and have tailored myself. A DIY attitude is really important to me and my style.
RG: Friends (What’s your crowd like?)
MP: The people I hang out with couldn't care less about art. They respect what I do though, which is all I can ask for.
RG: Fuck-ups (If you could go back, would you have approached your craft differently?)
MP: Every decision I have made in life has led me to where I am today, and I wouldn't change a thing.
RG: Fib (What is a secret about yourself that few people know?)
MP: I am really good at keeping secrets.
RG: Follow (Where can an art enthusiast track what you’re up to?)
RG: Finish (Is there anything else you’d like to add?)
MP: Rock N’ Roll.
Mark is a resident artist at The Hive Gallery at 729 South Spring St. in Downtown, (213) 955-9051 are their phone digits and their site is www.hivegallery.com. On Saturday, January 5, the Hive will have an opening party from 8 till 11:30 for the “Hive Tarot 4” group show. The next Downtown Artwalk is Thursday, January 10th. For more info about other galleries featured during the walk, go to www.downtownartwalk.org.