Working primarily in painting, Mark Lloyd (b. 1971 Birmingham, lives in Birmingham) is British contemporary artist known for his mixed media work, combining graffiti and traditional fine arts techniques.
Lloyd graduated from Falmouth School of art with a BFA in 1992, and in 2012 gained a MFA from Winchester School of Art. After spending ten years between 1984 and 1994 working as a graffiti artists, Lloyd began exhibiting in the UK and internationally. In 2008, Mark won the NIACE European Adult Learner of the Year Award. He was profiled on the Saatchi Gallery as part of New Sensations in 2012, and in 2013 was short listed for the Griffin Art Prize. His work has received acclaim from artists and critics, with features in the Independent, and exhibitions alongside Sir Anthony Caro and Banksy.
Lloyd's set of references include postmodern philosophy, science, and science fiction - and recently, Lacanian psychoanalitical theory, digital technology, and the abstract expressionist work of Mark Rothko. The theoretical complexity underpinning Lloyd's practice finds its material and processual counterpoint in the synthesis of past and future - combining high and low cultural perspectives, digital and analogue techniques, and traditional and non-traditional artistic imagery and processes.
Such complex layering of references, imagery and materials allows Lloyd's work to transcend categorical boundaries, leading critics to describe it alternately as meta-modernist, post post-modernist, and nascent.
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“My work begins from a philosophical and conceptual starting point, and often directly references postmodern philosophical concepts, science theory, and science fiction. My work is a visual manifestation of thought experiments. The circle or sphere motif appears in nearly all my work and serves as a visual symbolic vehicle, a conceptual and philosophical metaphor for mystery and the unknown.
My work intends to explore unknown unknowns of the human condition and evolution in the age of computer technology and genetic engineering, and the future possibilities and catastrophes of this processes of 'blurification'. In painting, I synthesizes the past and the future in imagery and materials.
My recent themes include: transhumanism/posthumanism, the awe and shock of modern technologies and their possibilities, the soul and spirit of humanity, and the loss and rediscovery of God. In recent work I burn objects, artworks or prints, and turn their ashes into paint pigment with which I make paintings.
Why do I do this? It is suggested that art has lost its aura /soul (Walter Benjamin /Jean Baudrillard) and this process is an attempt to reintroduce authenticity and aura/soul back into art. It is also a re-interpretation of the Hindu practice of ‘Antiyesti’ and an attempt to introduce deeper meaning and value, to go beyond the superficial, and reconstruct the ‘real’.
These ideas fascinate me and I believe this is relevant and important in the context of our ever increasing reliance and dependence on technology in global culture”.