Mark Gleason’s psychically charged mythical realism focuses on figures and liminal spaces in our increasingly fragile environment. Drawing on approaches and references from literature, music, philosophy, ecology, and the figurative old masters, Gleason’s oil paintings are at once visceral, austere, mischievous, and absurd.
"This body of work came together quite instinctively for me in a time of geopolitical struggle. Concerned, I wished to create a series of horses in attitudes of opposition.
I wanted something dynamic and visually akin to Robert Longo’s “Men in the Cities” series, with powerful equines as an allegory of resistance.
I sought to embody an otherwise inexpressible rage and wrath, using the imagery of rodeo, however stripped of the confining, constraining, and hindering rider and tack. Deep anatomical research aided my filling in the blanks, removing obstruction and allowing me to represent the animals as unrestricted and unfettered.
These paintings allowed me to create an unburdened shout of defiance, a refusal that felt like fighting back." - Mark Gleason