Interview: Mark Anthony Taylor | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Mark Anthony Taylor

Interviews | April 17, 2019 |

Interview: Mark Anthony TaylorImage courtesy of Mark Anthony Taylor

Interview: Mark Anthony Taylor

Luca Curci talks with Mark Anthony Taylor during ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL 2019 – RITUALS at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.

Mark Taylor is a self-taught artist and has proven himself to be a painter with a remarkable natural talent. Taylor’s early figurative paintings were finely crafted and heavily influenced by the vision and technique of the old masters. With his ability to create spellbinding visual images, Taylor has developed his abilities successfully as an artist with his own unique style. His work is iconic and is influenced by both symbolism and literary factors, together with his acute visual awareness and love of creating images. Taylor’s painting technique demonstrates a pursuit of perfection in handling paint and his paintings show great care and attention to detail in execution. When Taylor makes these images, he makes art that demonstrates his vision, his world view and his excellent and fertile imagination.

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Interview: Mark Anthony TaylorImage courtesy of Mark Anthony Taylor

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Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Mark Anthony Taylor – Art is an expression of the imagination; a peek into someone’s soul. I am constantly moved, inspired and often intrigued by the art I see – be it old masters or modern pieces, they always have something to say.

LC – What’s your background?
MAT – I am a self-taught artist. My early figurative paintings were heavily influenced by the vision and technique of the old masters, but I later found more freedom in contemporary work. I have had several exhibitions in London, both solo and group. Last year I participated in the Royal British Legion’s centenary commemorations, by donating a painting for auction. I am currently in collaboration with Guide London, the award-winning designer menswear company.

LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
MAT – here is no one experience that has influenced my work. There has always been a need inside me to create.

LC – What is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
MAT – It plays an important role, especially so in today’s modern society where people are constantly living in their phones. Art should make them look up and inspire them to engage with the world around them.

LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MAT – I have always been inspired by art, since a young boy when taken by my father to art galleries. I am also inspired by everything around me; a shadow, rainwater on a glass table top, or something as simple as a cigar matchbox can trigger a painting.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artwork?
MAT – My pursuit of perfection! It is both frustrating and challenging and drives me to the point of insanity. I have yet to be content with a finished artwork; always tempted to revisit it, I have to drag myself away.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
MAT – Anima Mundi is the divine essence that brings together and enlivens all of life in the universe. My relationship with the Anima Mundi is no different to anyone else’s except that as an artist I am keenly aware of it. Awareness of my embodiment as a human being, and the sharpness of focus my creative nature brings to my human experience, has resulted in much of my work being enlivened by the cosmological aspect of life as expressed from my personal, emotional and physical standpoint. My response to positioning myself in the world and in my world, with its dualities of order and chaos, passive and active, real and imagined, masculine and feminine, have given rise to a series of works which I believe relate directly to the Anima Mundi.

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Interview: Mark Anthony TaylorImage courtesy of Mark Anthony Taylor

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LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it linked to these of the entire festival?
MAT – CHAOS: The centre is stability, surrounded by the chaos of mind, body and soul. The whole painting represents the confusion of my darker moments and was born of a response to a period in my life in which my desire and need for order was split apart. CONNECTIONS: A quote by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist, inspired Connections. “We are all connected; to each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.” “Connections” is my direct expression of the intrinsic connection between all living things. RING O ROSES: This painting illustrates the interconnection of all things which provide the “natural” order in our lives as well as the duality of order and chaos, light and dark. “Ring o Roses” expresses a moment in history when order was turned on its head, and with devastating consequences. The Great Plague 1665-1666 demonstrates the fragility of our order, well-being and the overarching power of its opposite, chaos, and the way that our environment can turn on us. The butterfly represents the human soul and the beetle emerging from the eye socket reminds us that in the end we all return to the earth, that after chaos, order is again restored, and that death however frightening forms part of that natural order. The darkness of this piece is juxtaposed by a copy of a letter sourced from the National Archives and sealed within the skull. It provides a lighter moment, which appealed to the dark side of my humour, when relating to such a dramatic and destructive event. The letter numbers the dead speaks of a Butcher declared dead of the Plague who awoke the next morning, thankfully before being taken away for burial. TIME: I created this piece especially for the exhibition. It speaks of the cycles of order/chaos/order and dark/light/dark which bring to mind the natural cycles of the earth, which spins eternal. It defines our every moment, it both connects and separates us, and it can bring both clarity and confusion depending upon one subtle action taken or not. We are reminded that these choices hold the possibility of multiple consequences, they exist in time, out of time, all of the time.

LC – What do you think about the ITSLIQUID Platform?
MAT – ITSLIQUID has brought together artists from around the world; some emerging, others established award winning artists. It is a unique opportunity for us to gather together in the same space and has been a wonderful experience.

LC – What do you think about the organisation of our event?
MAT – It was well organised from the start, with good communication throughout. Meeting you all at the opening event was great and thank you for all your hard work in making it such a success.

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID Group can represent an opportunity for artists?
MAT – Yes. As I said earlier, bringing together such a well-chosen and eclectic mix of artists can only enhance one’s experience and potentially open doors to new opportunities.

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Interview: Mark Anthony TaylorImage courtesy of Mark Anthony Taylor

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