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Mark Gray BFA

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Born in Milwaukee WI ,1953. I studied at the Layton School of Arts and MIAD being honored with scholarships 3 years, graduated in 1975 in Fine Arts Painting. I own Arcopia a graphics arts business that began by providing brochure, architectural renderings, and advertising which has grown to provide architectural design and consulting for builders and developers, merging fine arts and practical architecture. Apart from publications in various magazines and newspapers I also created and host shows for Milwaukee's Gallery Night four times a year. The on going show is called POUR or party of the Urban Revolution. POUR revolution is the happening bringing together various artistic voices primarily to celebrate connection and diversity. In the creation of this ongoing event I wanted to practice real connection and foster an environment for people to see one another in a positive way. In collaboration with graffti artist and others in the hip hop culture we brought together diverse groups that represent a cross cultural mix to enjoy art, music and dance. This was done to countermand negative reactions to this seismic culture clash. I see this connection as important for the progress and growth of our society and through this to provide common ground to honor all its voices.

Artistís statement:

Highly saturated colors and flowing images define my response to the urban culture, defined by its
driving sounds, bright colors and frenetic dance movements, a culture clash in the making.
Within the dissonance of images and form I find connection in unexpected ways, revealing a
broader interconnected tapestry that makes up our world.
On one level it is about perception and discovering the paradigms that shape our perceptions
of each other, between a man and a woman, different racial groups and historical
figures. My work focuses on urban characters, the interplay between characters and
consumer brands, and other urban art-forms.  
Meaning and imagery  challenge the viewer to respond positively, with humor, to subject matter that
has been demonized in American culture. On another level it is about these formal
concerns becoming intertwined with subjective meaning to form content. They ask the
viewer to explore other meanings perceived, reflecting and being reflected upon.
My intent with the body of work is to approach the process of painting as a redefinition of
these paradoxes and to utilize its confrontational, suggestive and psychological potential.