Art Meets Fashion, as the name suggests, combines artistic displays with fashion runway showcases into one giant event for the community to enjoy. Tonight at The Fallout on 600 West, AMF will feature the works of SLC artist Mark Seely as he presents his latest exhibition, Vivisection
. Alongside him will be about a dozen artists and participating groups showcasing interactive pieces, with Ogden's Own and Red Rock providing the drinks. Before the event kicks off, we chatted with Seely about his artwork and career, as well as what he has planned for this yet-to-be-seen exhibition. (All photos courtesy of Facebook.
Mark Seely on Facebook
Gavin: Hey Mark, first thing, tell us a bit about yourself.
I've always been drawn to the unusual. Drawing, painting, building, destroying; in my youth, these were all a means of exploration. Compulsively curious and neurotic, I am forever flirting with the human psyche; this is reflected in my art over the years.
Gavin: What first got you interested in art and what influenced you early on?
The first branch of the creative tree that truly touched me would be music. Classical, opera, anything moody—as a young child, I felt soothed the more jarring it was, it seemed. I studied traditional art into my early teens, but found the abstract process to be the most personally satiating. Visually, when I see art I love, it's almost painful, whilst being inspiring. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Envy and motivation go hand in hand for me.
Gavin: I know you went to Weber State studying business. Did you spend any time studying art while you were there, or were you mainly self-taught?
To be perfectly frank, I'm not sure I studied anything
at WSU. Myself perhaps, those around me, where I fit (or didn't, rather). As far as majors go, I went from business to fine art to graphic design. Late teens/early 20s were far more about self-discovery as an individual, an adult, a creature than anything else. Artistically, I am a deconstructionist, so what I learned, formally, over the years stands as a foundation (rules to be broken) rather than specific techniques used moving forward.
Gavin: What inspired the kind of collage art that you create and how do you create it?
Life. Suffering. Beauty. Significance. Insignificance. My work is my therapy. "How" is irrelevant. "Why" is the better question. I suppose I am compelled. God made me do it? Haha. Just kidding, I don't believe in fairies and monsters.
Gavin: What's the process for you when creating a new piece from start to finish?
The process is always different. Depends on mood, life etc. Blank surface. Music. (Toxins). It's like looking into a mirror and changing things till you like what you see.
Gavin: How much of your work is planned ahead and how much do you incorporate as your creating?
None of it is really planned. I see it in my head, hear it, what it says. Then it's adding and removing and burning and sculpting and blending until it's done. An hour or a week. The length of time it takes depends on how honest I'm being, I think.
Gavin: Your work has earned praise and controversy for some of the imagery you incorporate. What's your take on the reactions you've received and seeing the impact it has had with critics?
What's provocative to one is banal to another. The feedback that I receive consistently is that my work is unsettling... My thought is this: If modern/abstract/expressionist art is just furniture, then it ceases to be what it was supposed to be to begin with. Fuck easy art. My work is for the obsessive thinker, volatile, the self-hating spectacular.
Gavin: How has it been for you working with Heidi Gress at Art Meets Fashion to help bring this show to life?
Heidi has been fantastic to work with. We have shared a vision since this show was originally proposed, and watching it come to fruition has been a privilege.
Gavin: Tell us a bit about what you’ll have on display for Vivisection.
This exhibition will feature nine large-scale mixed media pieces on aluminum, and nine smaller square pieces on aluminum. The subject matter is more sexual than usual, but maintains similar motifs from previous work. From the namesake of my section, Vivisection
is represented here as the removal of self from the subject; dissected and rearranged. Dehumanized, in general. Half kink, half cadaver class.
Gavin: What are you most looking forward to during this event?
I am very excited for the entire event; the continuity of all the artists associated is on point and I am looking forward to seeing the completed entity.
Gavin: On the side you’ve been working with CityhomeCOLLECTIVE. How has it been for you being a part of their organization?
CityhomeCOLLECTIVE is fucking phenomenal. Close-knit, brilliant people I truly adore. It's been a lovely few years with them. It's a rare treat to be surrounded with all aspects of what I love about real estate and design with people that are passionate and committed to what they do and are.
Gavin: What can we expect from you as we head into 2016?
Who knows. More art, for certain. One year of life, as promised.