My work is an exploration of consumer nostalgia driven by shopping malls, fashion magazines, interior decor, urban sprawl, symbolism in architecture, and HGTV. Stylized fashion photographs ranging from perfume, furniture, and cars, to travel, leisure and fine home building represent a hyperreal fantasy reality that is both intoxicating and seductive. The smell of new clothes and department store merchandise mixed with the sounds of synthesized pop music generate an artificial ambiance that is delightful and soothing.
Like the flaneur of 19th century Parisian promenades, the act of strolling through the mall offers the freedom to look at new objects while being surrounded by trees, fountains, and space; all with no seasonal variation, bad weather and in perfect spring-like conditions. Baudrillard argues that in our constant consumerism “everything is appropriated and simplified into the translucence of abstract ‘happiness’.”
I like the disconnection between seeing and comprehending and the separation between real and artificial. I try to balance these conceptual concepts with formal, technically executed works that use a combination of both digital and traditional image-making techniques. My nostalgia and emotional attachments to space have led me to pursue works with their own spatial peculiarity. I continue to work in diverse visual media following these topics that balance both formal explorations and specific conceptual frameworks.
Mark Pease is a painter, printmaker, and animator that lives and works in Southern Illinois. He received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BFA from Indiana University, Bloomington. He also studied as an exchange scholar at the Royal Academy of Art, London. He’s shown nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the Elmhurst Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the International Print Center New York, and the Soap Factory in Minneapolis.
Mark teaches courses in computer graphics, digital animation, video art, and 3D modeling at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design, the University of North Texas’ College of Visual Art and Design; the Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, and at the University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota.