December's Featured Artist - Mark Bryan

by Mari Robeson

Welcome to December! This month's Featured Artist is the very, VERY talented, Mark Bryan.

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Some art is pretty to look at. Some art is an optical illusion. Then there is art that makes you think. Mark's art is the latter of the three. Every painting takes the viewer deep into a story of what dreams, maybe nightmares, are made of. Add the fact that Mark is a true Master at his craft, it becomes hard to believe that some of these creatures may not actually come to life at any moment!

I first saw Mark's work at our mutual friend's printing shop. To see one of his pieces in person is quite an experience. I was so intrigued by the subject matter that I remember asking our friend, "What do you think he means with all this?" He replied, “You’ll have to ask him.”

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There is so much going in on his paintings, I just had to know more. So I asked about who he was and when I realized he lived very close to me I was hoping I could have him as a guest on my podcast. Much to my surprise, he graciously said yes!

You see, I think Mark is kind of a big deal. He is very accomplished and has exhibited his work all over the world. He has created numerous book covers and has been the featured artist in several magazines including Juxtapoz and several others. He has a MFA from the prestigious Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and started his career working with the early founders of the Chicano Art movement (Los Four). You can read his impressive biography HERE.

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Some of Mark's work will definitely hit a nerve and make some feel uncomfortable. It actually did for me at first but after I interviewed him and I understood how all of his life's experiences would lead him to being this type of a painter, it all made complete sense. Mark's work makes you feel and question and think about things. He is, in a way, documenting current events and presenting his opinion on them in the form of art. This is something I really love. Free Speech at it's finest!

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So maybe you won't agree with what he's saying with his art or maybe you'll be like many who thank Mark for "painting the way they feel". Which ever side you're on, this is noteworthy art and I feel incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to meet and interview him.

Beyond some of his more famous political satirical paintings, there are other more surreal, whimsical ones that I like so, so much. The two below are some of my favorites!

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That’s why I’m so excited that for the month of December Mark has graciously offered these two prints for sale in the Give Back category of my shop. He is also generously waiving his commission so that 100% of the proceeds can go to The Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarships. Did I also mention what a kind and exceptional person Mark is?!

I sincerely hope you will have the chance to listen, and watch, this super interesting interview with the very talented Mark Bryan.

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If you're looking for a great gift you might also consider adding Mark's book to your library! You can purchase it HERE.

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Other places to follow Mark Bryan:
Instagram: @markbryanart
If you live on the Central Coast you can see Mark's current exhibit of paintings in person at Frameworks Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Love Lou Lou Podcast Episode 7 - Interview with Artist- Mark Bryan