Mark Whalen’s new solo show, Maze Walkers, just opened at Chalk Horse in Sydney, Australia. His latest body of work displays his hand-painted gridded environments with some new stylistic directions. Working with themes of geometry, ritual, science, and sport, Whalen’s work continues to increase in complexity in both narrative and composition, but with a focused clarity that is well suited to his signature style. In tune with his recurring theme of modern mythology are some porcelain vessels adorned with his stylized figures in cobalt blue.
“You haven’t had a break from the studio for a while. One project appears to lead into the next. Don’t you feel the need for some fresh air now and again?
“I get that at my coffee shop, but in retrospect, what I see there on a day-to-day basis seems to make its way into my work in one form or another. The downtrodden, movers and shakers, average Joes, super creative people: all walks of life, finding their way through this labyrinthine world. It’s a pit stop of complete humanity for five minutes, twice a day. We’re all shuffling around the same beaten paths, chasing down the things that get us by. I’m no different. I go outside and do all my regular things over and over and over again. I get my coffee, then catch up on my emails, then get some food… and then its back to the drafting table where I paint these puzzles of fantasy and forecasted worlds – these multifaceted scenarios of discovery, roleplaying and problem solving that expose humanity at its most bizarre. They are almost an experiment into what would occur by amalgamating current ideologies, myths and spiritualities.”
Studio images by Andrew Parker.
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