Artwork of the Day: In Good Taste, John-Mark Gleadow
John-Mark’s painting career began with still lifes, and then centered on portraitures. Five years ago he began painting his most recent series which has fused the centuries-old theme of painting book spines with his love of figurative work. He explains that the style has allowed him to broaden the thematic horizons of his paintings.
The wonderful thing about working in this vein is how limitless the subject matter can be and how it makes for a logical way of combining entirely different topics, producing a work of art that’s beautiful as a whole, not just aesthetically, but thematically as well.
John-Mark’s early influences, Rene Magritte, Salvador Dalí and Vermeer, can all be seen in the crisp yet very personal realism of the book covers.
I fell in love with the beauty of their imagery and have always been in awe of their amazing gift for depicting reality, or their version of it. My desire is that my abilities would be used for creating works that are beautiful and that, when viewed as a whole, convince the viewer not only that what they’re seeing is real but that there’s truth in it. For that reason I find strict photo-realism a somewhat unsatisfying undertaking.
Painting book spines highlights John-Mark’s trademark use of vibrant colors — an element of his work made more intriguing due to the challenges he faces with his own colorblindness.
Born in 1976, John-Mark had already achieved gallery representation by the time he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1999. Renowned for his skill as a draftsman and ability for creating hyperrealstic oil paintings, he has gone on to garner various awards, solo shows and grants and has been met with commercial success in the numerous galleries carrying his work from coast to coast in the United States and beyond.