“Totem” continues Mark Chu’s painting focus on the human face. Created at the Q Bank Residency in Queenstown, Tasmania—a remote but important mining town—these works are inspired by the preciousness of mineral objects, a historic source of currency and aesthetic forms. The totemic structure of a simplified bust conveys the weight and permanence of humankind’s need to create and mine value. Mark’s approach to texture reinforces an earthly presence, using blank canvases first as the palette of an adjacent work, to enrich surface and color through accident. Here, Mark takes cues from sculpture, the works of masters, folk art, and the dramatic West Tasmanian landscape.
Last year Mark showed over 100 new works across Melbourne, Shanghai, New York City and Atlantic City. Mark’s painting is informed by multidisciplinary practice, having written for The Age Good Food Guide and The Lifted Brow, and recorded as a pianist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. This year he co-edited the community-minded art book 48 Stories for the Atlantic City Arts Foundation, and next year will collaborate with Singaporean Michelin-starred restaurant Nouri. Mark has a fiction MFA from Columbia University and “Totem” is his eighth solo painting show.
Opening on the 25th October at Marfa Gallery in Abbotsford, Melbourne, “Totem” runs until 30th October.
Opening night supported by the delicious Bodriggy Brewing Co.
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