Thursday, March 1, 2012

March's Artist of the Month: Mark Hosford

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

  • Steve Green/Vanderbilt
Mark Hosford is Country Life's artist of the month for March, and we're pretty excited about it. Mark is a professor at Vanderbilt, he's represented by Cumberland Gallery, and he's also the only Nashville-based artist to be featured in The Frist's excellent Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination exhibit.

Mark's work is weird and, at times, unsettling. But he's an extremely skilled craftsman, and that gives him a lot of space to play around with. On a recent studio visit, he showed me a print he'd just made — "Polecephaly," which is pictured below. I asked him how many times he had to run the print through the press — that is, how many layers of colors are in one print. It was more than 20. A lot of artists use more handmade elements in their work, a scratchy line, an uneven brushstroke, a limited palette. But Hosford's meticulous, intentional style opens up the door for psychedelic, unsettling imagery that might otherwise look trite or banal. Think Kara Walker, Laylah Ali, Marcel Dzama.

Check out some examples of Mark's prints and drawings below, and look for posts by and about him throughout the month — including photos of his studio at Vanderbilt and lists of inspirations and influences like old 78s, a Cabbage Patch theme park and Japanese woodcut artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. How's that for diversity?

Pile of Heads, Mark Hosford
  • "Pile of Heads," Mark Hosford

Polecephaly, Mark Hosford
  • "Polecephaly," Mark Hosford

Goo And The Devil II, Mark Hosford
  • "Goo And The Devil II," Mark Hosford

Sad Skeleton II, Mark Hosford
  • "Sad Skeleton II," Mark Hosford

Sad Clown, Mark Hosford
  • "Sad Clown," Mark Hosford

Woodsmen Of The World, Mark Hosford
  • "Woodsmen Of The World," Mark Hosford

Devolution Of Man, Mark Hosford
  • "Devolution Of Man," Mark Hosford

The Bunny King, Mark Hosford
  • "The Bunny King," Mark Hosford

The Forrest, Mark Hosford
  • "The Forrest," Mark Hosford

Plate II, Mark Hosford
  • "Plate II," Mark Hosford

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