A never-ending horizon and ranch-style buildings make for a calming landscape reflective of rural America. Bringing block colors to life across the face of gas stations and civic buildings, the Tennessee-based artist Mark Bradley-Shoup conveys both strength and isolation in the wide open spaces of his paintings.
His flattened composition acts in an interesting manner. The wide blocks of color serve to enhance each work’s strong, vintage tones while forcing the viewer’s eye to concentrate on the bursting 90-degree angles of each building, tossing off their two-dimensionality like an optical illusion. Shroup’s uncanny knack for reworking perspective can be a credit to his love for architectural forms. His eye for exacting detail is brought out in the crisp outline of a lifehouse or the variegated modern beams that mimic a hyper-stylized spacecraft.
While discussing his creative process, Shoup spoke about his technique and his range of artistic styles, “My studio practice involves the exploration of both representational and abstract imagery, both of which are embedded in my response to the landscape and how human culture interacts with the environment. I employ extensive use of tape and x-acto knives to create precise areas of color that emphasize the surface texture of the compositions in a way that undermines any elements of photorealist illusion.”
Shoup talks about working with mapping systems to develop pure formal abstractions, appropriated imagery for his mixed-media art, and architecture to form his more structural paintings. In particular, the picture plane is an entity that interests the artist, especially as technology evolves. “The painters of the Renaissance had their ‘window,’ the Impressionists had their ‘blur,’ the Photorealists of the 1970’s had their “lens,” but it seems much of that is currently being replaced by the concept of the monitor or the screen and we are seeing a concentrated group of contemporary painters employing a video realist or a media influenced effect to their work.”
Mark Bradley-Shoup is represented by David Lusk gallery. Find more from the artist on his website, here.