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Art & Life with Mark Dean Veca

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Dean Veca.

Mark, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in the suburbs of San Francisco in the 1960s and 70s and was raised on a steady diet of the popular culture of that place and time, particularly the comix, rock n roll, and skate cultures, and was influenced by their graphic language.

In 1981, I moved to LA to go to art school at Otis Art Institute where I learned about artists like Franz Kline, Philip Guston, Andy Warhol, and Ed Ruscha from professors like Mike Kelly and Kent Twitchell, all of whom had a great impact on me. I also discovered a passion for baroque and rococo art which has informed much of my work over the years. All of these early influences coalesced into work that explores the duality of existence: Elegant vs. Common, Micro vs. Macro, High Art vs. Low Art, and so on.

Six years after getting my BFA from Otis I moved to New York City where I lived and worked for 17 years before moving back to LA in 2008. While in New York I created site-specific installations for The Drawing Center, PS1/MoMA, and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, among many others. I’ve also created installations throughout the US and internationally at venues like Instituto Cultural de Cabanas in Guadalajara (which was funded by the LA Department of Cultural Affairs), Bloomberg Space in London, and at Otis College of Art and Design right here in LA.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’ve been creating large-scale site-specific artworks for 35 years. The way I’ve usually approached these projects is to visit the site and let the environment reveal a course of action to me that addresses its past, present, and future. My goal is to emphasize the physical and cultural attributes of a place by creating imagined worlds beyond its surface. I also make drawings and paintings at my studio in Altadena, as well as prints, posters, wallpaper designs, toys, and apparel. I hope to speak to a wide audience; to make work that is both sophisticated and accessible.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
The biggest challenge facing artists today is affording the time and space it takes to make the work. It’s a difficult thing to do in expensive cities like L.A. or New York and that’s the kind of place where most of us want or need to be.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I show my work regularly at galleries and museums in L.A. and elsewhere. There’s no specific location it can be found at any given time, but I always post current shows on Instagram and Facebook so that’s a good way to find out what’s up currently. There are a lot of images of my work on my website.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Douglas DeFelice/Prime 360 Photography

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