Mark Whalen: New works @ Melbourne Art Fair

August 30, 2012

Earlier this month, Mark Whalen (maybe you know him as Kill Pixie) had a grouping of new works on display with Edwina Corlette Gallery at the Melbourne Art Fair. We have done a lot with Mr Whalen over the past year (videos, studio visits, magazine features) but we think this is the first time we have seen basketballs in his work. We could be mistaken, but we think not.

*MARK WHALEN /HALLUCINATION/* In a new series of paintings for the Melbourne Art Fair 2012, Sydney-born, Los-Angeles based artist Mark Whalen continues his focus on alternate realities. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these extraordinary worlds conjure earthly truths stranger than the fiction they appear to depict.

Worship and contemporary culture are central motifs in the realms of domination and control. Curiously the artist cites ‘leisure’ as the predominent theme and indeed sports, sex, intoxicants and desk-top gizmos appear in each composition.

Science, geometry, perspective and construction are depicted in outer space environments as if our alternate universe is starting from scratch. Evoking the rituals of ancient cultures, and at first seemingly archaic, we see the exaltation of time, erected deities, totems and ritual human sacrifice, but really how different is this to our constant charge towards extreme capitalism?

In these meticulously crafted art objects - worked on holographic paper in ink, acrylic and gouache, coated in resin and mounted to wood - one senses the presence of an indomitable spirit of creativity, humour and resistance, and the power of adaptation.