|Isis Among the Ibises|
Ok all, I will preface this post by saying it is totally nepotistic. Mark Myers is related to me, by blood, and I hope he gives me another piece of art for posting this. Just saying.
Mark Myers, born in Indiana, raised by two wonderful teachers (my grandparents), alongside one troublesome brother and one bratty sister (my mother). Works as an art teacher in Texas. Creates art inspired by.... well, I'm not quite sure. So I asked him.
|The Four Riders|
Mark, your work deals with images and symbols that reference a host of global cultures. How does a guy from small town Indiana become so well-versed in this type of iconography?
Answer: I was well versed in a traditional Liberal Arts Education. That curriculum provided me with the foundations for an encyclopedic curiosity that has continued to inspire me through all my years. I have not as yet had the opportunity to travel and experience all the cultures and traditions that I have embraced as an academic and as an artist. I read, I study, I observe, and I learn. Every person and different culture I encounter is an invitation to learn more about the family of man.
|Procession of the Cybernagas|
Globalization makes it possible for us to interpret and recognize iconography from around the globe. At the same time, images like the McDonald's golden arches and Mickey Mouse become new, global icons. What is your feeling about this process?
Answer: I am intrigued with the phenomenon of the world wide web and telecommunications, these two most ubiquitous expressions of expanding globalization, which may be responsible for erasing cultural distinctions. Ironically, they may also be our best vehicles for preserving those distinctions and passing them on to future generations. There is in my view, a great need today for a system of symbolization that can address a new emerging world view of humankind’s greater cosmic purpose and the individual’s place in the changing landscape we are creating.
I'm in love with the painting you gave me last Christmas, The Dark Design. It's definitely a hot topic at my house during parties -can you tell me anything about the story it tells?
|My living room, proudly displaying MCM artwork.|
I think I could use one or two more, right ?
Answer: That painting is from quite a few years ago and represents a breakthrough after a long and difficult creative dry spell. I discovered the works of Joseph Campbell and his theories on comparative mythology, metaphor, and religion. His work was a revelation to me. The painting depicts a map of an alternative dimension of reality derived from a Yakut Shaman. The shaman climbs the celestial ladder from the mundane world, across the bridge of the Milky Way, to different spirit dimensions. He returns via the same pathways bringing new knowledge he has acquired to his social group.
Ok, let's talk about the frogs. I hear that was an obsession for a while?
Answer: Those paintings represent my fascination with the natural world. I have always loved the natural sciences. I spent many happy hours as a child looking through a microscope. Poison arrow frogs, butterflies, carnivorous plants, whats not to like about all that ? I feel blessed that I have been able to retain the same sense of curiosity and wonder that I had as a child. I think we have lost a lot of that curiosity; we've gotten intellectualy lazy.
Your art reflects so many places and cultures. Where have you traveled, how has traveling affected your art and where would you dream to go?
Answer: I have been very much the armchair traveler. As an artist and an academic I have never had the means to travel as I would have liked. I hope to address that as I enter my second 50 years of life. Regardless I continue to keep an open and curious mind. Places I would love to visit...Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Bali, Indonesia, Lascaux, France, Borobudur, Java, Brazil, Peru.
Thanks Uncle Mark!
* All Images via Mark Myers. Prints available here.