It's always a pleasure to recognize local artists in our Friday props series, and it is a double pleasure to be able to bring attention to the work of an artist I personally know. This week we are giving Friday Props to Randolph, Vermont visual artist and music composer Mark Rosalbo.
From his own words:
Inspired by the pandemic and propelled on by our fast-paced, meritocracy-based, increasingly-divided society, my paintings are a physical manifestation of my internal dialogue of self-reflection and personal judgement. I paint in my basement, find the best possible surface to paint on, use the least horrible brush available, dip into a can of house paint and start without any preconceived notions of what happens next. I layer on colors to either hide or reveal what is underneath. The turmoil that arises from feelings of self-doubt is expressed as geometric shapes woven together or as seemingly random chaos running across the canvas - much like the ebb and flow of thoughts consuming our minds. These shapes are both in and out of balance with contrasting colors, highlighting the roller coaster of emotions and the intensity of introspection.
Some may recognize his name from his work during the pandemic which gained notice when the piece Graffiti Art, displayed in a downtown Northfield shop, was (poorly) interpreted as "being Antifa" and creating a stir of (ridiculous) public outcry. Abstraction allows the viewer to see what the viewer sees, and in 2020 when it seemed everything was fraught with being politicized, apparently so, too, was abstract art.
Graffiti Art may have gotten most of the attention, but it is only one of over 100 abstract pieces created during the lockdown. You can sense the explosion of mixed emotions and deep concerns in his work which is at times energetic and even frantic, and at other times serene and peaceful such as his piece Virga, which happens to be my personal favorite.
But perhaps the most approachable piece is Zoom Parade. The title makes it clear what's on his mind and I think most of us can understand and relate all too well to the circus of Zoom meetings brought about by the pandemic.
What makes Rosalbo props-worthy in my opinion is that he is not a trained visual artist, but rather he began his experimentation during the early days of the pandemic and found solace and healing in the process. His search for meaning in such a difficult time through creative expression is both inspiring and honest.
I began creating mixed media art during the early days of the pandemic by combining original piano compositions with my abstract paintings. I experimented with color and texture, geometric designs and action painting. I have gained some creative confidence by wading in the dark vernal pools of emotional polarities that come with reflection and introspection.
When I approached Mark about Friday Props I was aware of his Pandemic Art, but had no idea that he also composes music. I feel it is perhaps unfair that one man should have so many talents. When I started writing this post I decided to listen to some of his pieces and I had not noticed how much time had passed and I was still listening. Do yourself a favor and check out some of his compositions as well.
See more at the links below:
Artist Webpage: https://solo.to/markrosalbo
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