Mark Mitchell made a video of himself creating his acrylic painting on canvas called, "Fish Out Of Water". Watching the video, I felt a sense of the artist's determination. He appears to be pouring himself onto the canvas, as he applies paint, masking, heart, whatever it takes to bond his message and medium to the surface.
"I am very focused in my art, and I do plan out what I want to say," said Mitchell. "I am following my own mental road map. Sometimes, I do feel a lack of the freedom of spontaneity I see some artists exhibit when they paint, but coming from my discipline in advertising, where you are trying to convey an idea, it's a necessary way to express the meaning in the media." Mitchell says that in his new fine art paintings, "I'm trying to paint communication, coming from the gut, from the head and from the heart. It's the stuff that makes you stop and think that stands out to me."
Mark Mitchell invites the public to attend "Fish Out of Water," his new show coming up at the Gugliotta Gallery. The show runs from January 26th to February 28th, 2013. The opening and reception will coincide with Pass-A-Grille’s block party called “Party Under the Lights”, so it's bound to be a fun event.
Fish Out Of Water
Gallery opening, Reception and Meet the Artist - Mark Mitchell
Saturday, January 26, 2013, 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm
104B Eight Avenue
Pass-A-Grille, FL 33706
Gallery hours, Tues - Sat, 11am - 5pm., Show runs from January 26th to February 28th, 2013
Invitation to Gallery Event
Gallery web site
Facebook event page
UPDATE: PLEASE CLICK ON SLIDESHOW TO SEE PHOTOS FROM OPENING
Party Under The Lights: Historic 8th avenue Block Party
Pass-A-Grille kicks off 2013 with the First Party Under the Lights for the New Year 2013, a block party on historic 8th Avenue. There will be live bands, featuring the "Backtrack Blues Band". The Backtrack Blues Band, from Tampa Bay, has been performing original blues music since 1980. This five-piece group has an upbeat, electric blues sound reminiscent of the early Chicago blues scene, and they are one of Florida’s longest running blues acts. Local food vendors, arts and crafts booths, wine, beer and soda will be available, along with good cheer, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Some merchants on 8th Avenue will be open late, including Bamboozle, Dody's, Paradiso, and the Gugliotta Studio with this art reception and opening.
Historic Eighth Avenue on Facebook
Mark Mitchell calls his work "Conceptual Pop and Multimedia Art." He is a long time professional artist, a graduate of Pratt Institute, and a former advertising creative director from New York City. He now lives and works in Tampa Bay, a full time visual artist creating his own vision of fine art.
Mark Mitchell puts concept first when it comes to creating his art. His visual and communication skills are intertwined, as he weaves ideas into the paint and pattern. He will utilize painting, photography, design, music, spoken word and/or video to pull together the message he wants to convey, with whatever media seems necessary and right for the project.
"Today, my approach as a fine artist is to draw on the power of mass media and pop culture," he writes. He uses the icons and imagery from society to make his own personal artistic statement. "I love Edward Hopper's paintings, because he's about light and composition. Sometimes I'm into that, or sometimes I like a more modern approach, and look to other more pop style artists."
Mitchell and his wife, Rosemary, moved to the Tampa Bay area a little over two years ago. From living the stressful life in New York City, he felt a bit like that fish in his move from the big city to the 'burg.
"We were geared for the move," Mitchell said. "We had been living in the suburbs and working in Manhattan. Rosemary is very creative, and she has been working as an art buyer, a creative supervisor, and getting video productions produced. She now works for animal welfare organizations. She appreciates what I do, and is very supportive of my work. We had vacationed in Florida, and we were getting a little burned out and ready for a change. Rosemary said, 'Let's give you a shot to try painting as you've always wanted to," he said. "We figure we are at a point in our lives where we can take a shot at it." Mitchell looks forward to exploring the art scene in Miami, Ft. Myers, and other areas in Florida, but says he enjoys living here now.
I met Mark Mitchell and his wife recently at a downtown St. Petersburg art and dance event called, "Artistry in Motion." Mark is involved in the downtown arts community, and says, "Art is in every corner here. The more I investigate, the more I find is going on."
He recently added his fish contribution to the memorial mural for artist Bill Correira "Woo".
"I loved that mural project," he said. "I was happy to be a part of it. It was an amazing thing. Everybody was invited to do a fish in their own style, as an homage to Bill. My fish is a picture within a picture, the bird flying into the sunset my own idea of the spiritual realm where Bill might be now."
"My painting, "Fish Out of Water," is more about the social and political climate of being in New York since the terrorist attacks of 9/11," said Mitchell. "All of a sudden there were armed guards in the subway, and security cameras, more and more. They are making an effort to monitor every square foot of the city. Trying to maintain a career in the city, the fear level that is already highly charged was intensified. Within the fish is a night time sky, and a plane taking off by moonlight. There are phantom bombs, clearly not real bombs, because they are not falling now. But they could come at any time; that's the kind of stress level that is carried."
"Combined with my own desire to change our lifestyle," he said, "the painting tells the story of us from the outside in."
Artist Diane Gugliotta, who owns the gallery where Mitchell will show his work, enjoys accepting portrait commissions. Gugliotta works with her clients to achieve just the right vision to capture the essence of the individual, with integrity, contemporary stature and an emotional connection to the subject.
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