Who Am I ?
An Introduction to MARK DEMAIO
1: Who am I?
I am an artist living and working in NYC. Painting is my life, for the most part. I’ve basically given up going out. I did enough of that for a very long time. I concentrate on my work, painting about 14 or 15 hours a day. I work out of my apartment so I am surrounded by the work all the time. I’m single because I am dreadful at relationships, but one must maintain hope!
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I am working on my next show, which will be at Synchronicity Fine Art at 106 West 13th St. The show is in December 2011. I’m hoping to paint everyone I know for this showing. I am working in a completely new way than I did for my last show. This effort is going to focus on a much more personal level of painting. I am focusing on the application of paint as opposed to the narrative of the work. The images will still be mine – that’s unavoidable, but I am growing and expanding as a painter, trying to force myself out of a comfort zone and explore new techniques. As an artist, I don’t believe we can sit still and continue to paint the same things the same way over and over; everything becomes too stagnant. If I’m not learning and trying to better express myself through color and texture, I’d rather quit all together.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I was born in upstate NY – the Finger Lakes to be more specific. It’s very beautiful in the spring and summer, but the without the warmth, winters are the ninth ring of hell.
It was a safe and secure place to grow up, but it’s basically a cultural wasteland. Not that there aren’t a lot of talented people there, but there are little to no creative outlets, no galleries or museums to speak of. If you’re not a sports fan, you’re sort of out of luck. This is reflected in the educational system up there as well.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
Well, heroes are hard to come by and I don’t want to be cliché, but I will. My parents and my brother come to mind. I say my parents because they are the most encouraging parents ever. My brother is a musician and our parents were always there to support us. We never suffered the “why don’t you get a civil service job” or “that’s too hard, get a regular job”. Their attitude was, “Fine, if you want to do this, do it. But do it as best you can and devote yourself to it 100%”, which we both have done, probably my brother more than me. My brother lives his art. He is the band MANOWAR and spends 25 hours a day at it. It’s truly impressive; he’s an inspiration.
5: What book is your bible?
I love to read. Atlas Shrugged is a life changer for anyone who can get through it, and I suggest you do, The Fountain Head as well. I love autobiographies. The Patti Smith book, Just Kids, is just the best book I’ve read in years. I’m also a sucker for most things by John Irving, especially A Prayer For Owen Meany.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love art (obviously), I love paint, and I am an office supply junkie! I love music, my friends, my family. Bowie and all glam rock form the 70’s. Huge movie fan, but there seem to be so few good ones…I’d like to direct a movie. I love books, love sex, love red wine, and anything APPLE®. As far as hate goes, hmmm…well, I try not to hate, but I kind of can’t stand art snobs. I detest pretentious people. I also think society as a whole has lost its sense of humor and we’ve become far too politically correct. These days, freedom of speech is only free if no one is offended by it. That’s kind of unnerving.
7: What is your raison d’être?
My reason to exist… well, I suppose it’s to create and try and share my work, try and bring a little macabre joy into peoples lives through my work, and just by being me. I don’t exist to help my friends and family, but it’s something that brings me a great deal of satisfaction. We’re all here for a reason I believe. I guess mine is to bring my own brand or art to the world. Like it or not…here’s my work!
8: What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is orange. I never wear color, but orange is my favorite to use.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
Batman – always was, always will be.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
My favorite NYC hotspot is where ever one of my dearest friends, Corey TuT, is DJing. That’s when I go out, to hang with him. Other than that, all my favorites are gone.
11: What turns you on?
The Museum Of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, or any great museum. When I see works of art by the masters, these genius creations hanging on the walls, and I can stand with in inches of those works — knowing that Picasso, or Warhol, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko, or Van Gough, Sargent, Monet, Lautrec, Pollock, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud etc, etc, made those works — I just freak right the fuck out. It just propels me into another place mentally. A far more exciting and heady space than any drug, sexual experience, or brilliant wine could take you. I also am turned on by beauty of all kinds, from the grotesque to the sublime.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Are you tired of answering questions yet?
Painter Mark DeMaio was born in upstate New York. DeMaio studied at The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University before moving to New York City where he lives and works. During the course of his career, Mark has participated in major group exhibitions and wildly successful solo shows, selling work to collectors here and across Europe and Japan. Mark also generously donates works of fine art to many charitable causes, including the recent benefit “To Japan, Love New York” at the Munch Gallery on March 26, 2011.
DeMaio’s next show, a yet untitled collection will open in December 2011 at SYNCHRONICITY Fine Arts, 106 West 13th Street, NYC. In his next show, the artist tells us that a seismic shift in technique will be on display: “I will be representing the application of paint with a more personal approach then ever before. I won’t ignore the narrative that’s always so clear in my work, but I will be presenting it in a way I’ve never before exhibited. I’m very excited for people to see the new works.”
Please visit www.markdemaio.com to view the artist’s work.
For information regarding interviews, personal appearances, or studio visits, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , Geffrey Yabes at 646.247.2483 or email@example.com or the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overseen by Jillian Mercado
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Meaghan Coffey
Photography by Ryan Mccune for PatrickMcMullan.com
Design by Jillian Mercado
Mark Demaio at the Opening Reception for MARK DeMAIO’s “Absurd Notions”, Synchronicity Space, NYC, 2010, Photography by Ryan Mccune for PatrickMcMullan.com