Mark Vazquez-Mackay
I have been working as a figurative artist in Calgary since graduating my MFA program. My practice is based on the observation of my environment, the surroundings of my studio and the people who come into it. As a humanist, I am drawn to how life interacts between me, the artist and the painting, the spectator. The spectator enters the dynamic by virtue of confronting the painting. This process and perspective guides me to realize my reality - the reality of how I exist within the environment that includes other people and the physical world. In order to understand my world, my work demands the most honest and naked approach.
The people represented in my work are not models. They are everyday people who come to me to exchange their time for a painting or simply just for the experience. My sitters are encouraged to create their own poses and consider what they want to communicate; I then decide how I will see them.
Within the realm of truth, I am forced to balance an obvious contradiction between the representation of the physical world and the reality of the materials I use. Consequently, I allow the paint to articulate itself within the representation. It does not try to disguise itself; rather to act as itself and have empathy for the subject.