Name: Mark Andrew Allen
Birthday: Jan 20 1957
College: Texas State University / San Marcos, TX, Parsons School of Design / NYC, Art Center College of Design / Pasadena, CA
How would you define yourself as an artist? Mixed Media Pop Expressionist. I attempt to create a narrative with each work I do.
Why art? I have been doing art since my childhood. My father is an artist, so I have been encouraged all along the way from him as well as family and friends.
How did you get involved with art? It started with creating posters for my neighborhood buddies and I have never stopped.
What art do you most identify with? Art that I can relate to. Art that speaks to me. No particular style or movement.
What does “being creative” mean to you? Being creative is about free form thinking that asks “what if”… I wonder if I can come up with a ‘different’ way of communicating a particular narrative.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? The best advice is to not wait for something to ‘inspire you’,… just start. Usually the best ideas are found on the way to somewhere else. Just start.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? My duty as an artist is to be an artist of my own time. I want my work to reflect the time that I live in. I want people to be able to look at my work many years from now and be able to say, that is what it looked like at that time.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? My biggest strength is my ability to twist ideas around. To have humor in my work. For my work to have that.. “Ah-ha’ moment when the viewer ‘gets it.’
What themes do you pursue? I create a new work each and every day. So my theme is what ever I see, hear, feel THAT DAY.
What inspires you to work? I love going on a journey where I don’t know what the outcome will be. That for me is quite exciting. I don’t like to sketch out an idea and then enlarge it on a canvas and paint it for months at a time. I find that incredibly laborious and not fitting with the times that we live. That was acceptable in the Renaissance period, but not now.
Color: Yellow (that is what I say today… ask me tomorrow and it will be a different color… maybe)
Book: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
TV Show: Andy Griffith
FFood/Drink: Queso dip and tortilla chips with a frozen margarita with a salted rim
Quote: Use Time or Lose Time
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project… How do you conceive of it? It usually starts with one object. By the time I am finished layering, often times the first object is no longer visible.
How do you build it in your mind before you start? I don’t! See above…
What Role does the artist have in society? The artist is the one that observes and reflects what he/she sees.
Do you suffer for your art? No. I love my art like my own children. No suffering for me. I wouldn’t do it if it required suffering.
What do you think about the art community and market? The art community is mostly a bore to me. Every city I have lived in or visited, the art community seems so clueless to reality. I actually rarely hang out with artists because they often are in deep self analysis of their own abilities and most lack self confidence. I try to surround myself with highly successful people that are excited about life. I don’t care what their profession is, it is attitude that is most important to me.
The art market is going through a total transformation right now. It is an exciting time to be alive and creating art. This is the first time in history that the ‘gate keepers’ with the golden keys to a successful career in art are no longer in charge. The emerging artists now have an opportunity to be seen and heard for a short amount of time before the hatch closes and a long line must form yet again. Trust me, the gate keepers will indeed find a new way to coral in the selected few, the ‘lucky’ ones that may or may not have talent, but will know the ‘right’ person and be adored by all.
Should art be funded? Why? No. I don’t think government should fund art. Let the government take care of its people. Let corporations spend the large buckets of cash on art.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how? Picasso…. I spent six years studying him and his work. Rauschenberg – I have met him several times. I love his work and he was a truly lovely person. Warhol – I have met him several times.
What other interests do you have outside of art? I play harmonica in a band.
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today? Everywhere!
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? It would write books, play music, have more time for my family and friends, travel more.
Art Fairs: Aqua Art Miami 2012, Scope Miami Beach 2014, Aqua Art Miami 2015, LA Art Show 2016, Spectrum Indian Wells 2016, Context Art Miami 2016 LA Art Show 2017, Art Palm Springs 2017
Museums: Dallas Museum of Art, Experience Music Project, Memphis Brooks Museum, Acadian Museum, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum.
What are your next projects? I am working on a new project that I am building right now. All I can reveal at this time is that the viewer will be able to walk into it.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Stunning!