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Work / Art

Mark Whalen’s softly-hued artworks are a comment on human nature

Los Angeles-based, Australian-born artist Mark Whalen creates sprawling images of pastel-coloured worlds that look like a cross between folk art and scenes on Ancient Greek pottery. His simply drawn characters meander through brightly patterned landscapes and the interactions between these svelte figures gives his images a great energy.

Through the confectionery hues there’s real complexity behind Mark’s artworks as he explores human nature and our place in the world both on an individual level and as a species as a whole. Many of his works are created using acrylic, ink and gouache on panels but in Bending Dimensions, and Groups of Four Mark uses clay as his canvas. This gives his work a great crinkled texture adding another dimension with the glaze he’s used on top.

We featured his work back in 2012 and while he still uses the same simple characters in limbo-like worlds to convey his narratives, his images feel more refined. They’re detailed but not cluttered and the larger scale of his works allows the viewer to take everything in.

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Mark Whalen: Trapezoid

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Mark Whalen: Sculpture in Room

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Mark Whalen: Colour Lab

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Mark Whalen: Signs and Signals

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Mark Whalen: Improper Faction

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Mark Whalen: Groups of Four

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Mark Whalen: 3 Men, One Puzzle

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Mark Whalen: Shapes and Forms

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Mark Whalen: Bending Dimensions