Mark Cowell is an Expressionist painter with a nomadic upbringing. During his tumultuous teen years Mark indulged in escapism, venturing into the night and painting on the streets from 1993 through to the end of the decade. Some paintings still exist, preserved by property owners including several works throughout the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse.
Instead of pursuing academic study in the arts, Mark worked in the community sector for several years, then secured employment in the advertising industry concurrently completing a Bachelor of Business. The urge to paint began to gnaw at Mark again. Knowing he couldn’t recommence illegal street painting, an alternative path presented itself, winning a 2011 commission to paint a mural for the South Melbourne Markets.
Mark’s studio practice centres on the experimental use of spray-paint alongside traditional mediums to produce vibrant Expressionist pieces. His current body of work explores the way complex external inputs distort or augment the way people build identities. Parallel to his studio practice is a bespoke mural painting business.
Recent commissioned murals by Mark have featured in the Weekend Australian Magazine and photos documenting his early street works were featured in Australia’s seminal street art publication, Blitzkrieg (before street art was a thing). Mark successfully sold a large body of work to a local collector at his first solo exhibition in February 2015 and received positive reviews during at a group exhibition showing new expressionist paintings a Hogan Gallery April 2015.
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