One on One with Mark George
September 13-19, 2007
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt seen the work of Mark George somewhere. His work is a premier example of Pop Art – a colorful and simple display. His work has been exhibited at countless galleries and is always hanging in the popular Avondale Breakfast joint, the Fox Restaurant. It can be easily distinguished by its middle-century, Lichtenstein-esque, cartoon-like characters. Unlike Lichtenstein, his paintings appear strokeless, as though they were printed onto the corrugated poly-vinyl. in a strokeless fashion that looks more like printing onto a corrugated plastic roofing material. When you see a Mark George, you know it. No one else has work quite like his.
EU: Why do you make art? In other words, what is your inspiration or most prominent subject?
George: Art is a great form of release. It’s also my contribution to society, a responsibility of sorts. In the pop genre I work with, it’s a reflection of a very temporary society based around shallow issues like vanity and greed, while at the same time addressing more primal urges like love, anguish and pain.
EU: What is it about your chosen mode of artistic expression that conveys your ideas better than, say, writing or music?
George: There is no hidden meaning behind my work, it’s presented at face value and is all fairly specific about their topics, usually centered around human emotions. The viewer will always have their own take on what the painting means to them, however, the work should be pleasantly easy to grasp.
EU: Do you have a specific audience in mind when you create?
George: At this point, I would love to be viewed by all audiences, publicly. I love the idea of presenting an unconventional format to people who are not even familiar with art or have no appreciation for it at all. That way, you really tap into the human psyche with work that focuses on factors of everyday life, by people who are not jaded to an acceptance of what art is supposed to be or look like.
EU: What do you hope viewers will see when looking at your work?
George: Themselves. It’s the beautiful simple things in life we all take for granted and often forget all about in hot pursuit of instant gratification– fast food, disposable razors, temporary jobs, apartments for rent and one-night stands. Human emotion will be the last thing we will always have. After all is said and done and the earth takes back what is rightfully hers, we will once again be faced with the fact that love and compassion really is the most important part of our existence.
EU: What do you think would further improve the art scene in Jacksonville?
George: Breaking down walls that hold stifled ideas of what a preconceived notion of art is supposed to be. Why do we continue to want the same thing over and over again? Artists who appeal to the masses regurgitate congested boringness for shallow people who are trapped in their own conflictions of keeping up with the Joneses. Mail-order catalogs that are considered to be art periodicals reflect this dull nature that hangs over Jacksonville like a dark cloud and keeps the beautifully refreshing light of newness out.