Mark Horst lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
About Public Art:
Public art—as I practice it—is [1.] immersive, [2.] particular and, [3.] inviting and playful.
[1.] For me, the most interesting public art is looked through as much as looked at; it responds to and changes with its surroundings; it enlivens the space around it and invites us, as we explore it, to sense some new things about our world. I seek to establish spaces that filter and reframe our experience.
[2.] I am interested in public art that takes its place in a social and architectural context; rather than as a generic commodity, I want my work to engage the community in which it is built in specific to take root in a process of listening to and learning from community members. I am committed to networking and building consensus for a project as it develops.
[3.] I want the substance of my work to evoke a response be it curiosity or recognition or momentary confusion. I am interested in the ways that familiar materials and textures can become mysterious and magical when viewed at an unfamiliar scale: the skeleton of a leaf becomes a forest of shapes; a fly's wing becomes a pattern of undulating waves.
I paint as a way to see and to know the world. Yet the world is never finished and the joy of seeing it is never complete—and so my painting points to the fleeting, the glimpsed, to the life that is always present and so difficult to touch.
I paint the way I see—which is always incomplete and in process. The more I look, the more there is to observe. The world opens up and flowers; the mud takes form.
I paint the figure as an invitation to explore the world and ourselves—our light, our shadows, our incompleteness. I’m trying to create a space for us to inhabit and give us time with questions that are not meant to be answered.
Mark Horst carries a quiver full of painterly gifts. His startling work reveals wild pinpricks of the eternal, often in the subtlest of images. Make no mistake, the paintings sometimes hold our feet to the flame-a door between a collectively understood image and some new paint-spirit that comes hurtling through. Not always a comfortable experience.
That door is also a gateway between the tacit and the explicit-his sheer feel and technique is obvious, but there are other energies at work here too, some ancient condition of the soul.
Horst is one of the few new painters to hold the paradox of tradition and innovation within him- there is brilliance here.
MARTIN SHAW, author, teacher and painter.