Interview with artist Mark Pease

Ever wonder what inspires artist, Mark Pease? Or other super-serious questions like what he snacks on while working?

Wonder no more, because he was gracious enough to answer a few of our questions for this week’s artist interview.


Pease’s “Untitled (Turquoise 21)” acrylic on nylon.

 1. When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do

Mark Pease: As a kid I was always making things. I made skateboard ramps, go karts, and tree forts. My dad had a lot of tools. Through high school, I did mostly sports and didn’t get involved in artistic activities. When I went to college, I found the 3D foundations class that let you use the school’s wood shop and sculpture studios. I wanted to make a few things for my dorm room so I took the class. When I started the class, all of my past interests in making things came back to me. I discovered the history of art and knew that’s what I wanted to do.

2. What inspires you the most?

MP: Being alone in public spaces. Airports, commuter trains, buses, public transportation.

3. What is your current favorite medium?

MP: I have a hard time with that one. I’m familiar with a lot of different modes of working. It’s hard to choose for me. I love 3D animation and the possibilities of making artificial spaces.


“Disk Variations ll – Turquoise 17a” Screen print on paper by Mark Pease.

4. When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?

MP: I like the stuff that you hear at the mall. It’s always new.

5. What piece are you most proud of?

MP: The last one I made. When it’s brand new, you’re really proud of it.

6. Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?

MP: I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of that.  With my work, I’d like people to notice some of the more subtle beauties in their surroundings.


“Untitled (Purple25)” (Detail) acrylic on nylon by Mark Pease.


7. Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?

MP: I’ve donated a few pieces for fundraisers that were not up to my standards. When you see them for sale, its embarrassing.

    a.What is the best comment you’ve ever received?

MP: I got a review last year in the Chicago Reader.  The critic wrote about my work which meant I didn’t have to. I’ve written a lot of artist statements. It’s nice to have someone else do the writing

    b. The worst?

MP: I had a studio visit with Kerry James Marshall. He said my work was handsome.

9. What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?

MP: One of everything.


Left background: “Untitled (Red 35)” Acrylic on nylon. Right foreground: “Disk Variations II – Orange 3b” Screen print on paper by Mark Pease.

10. What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?

MP: Animal crackers. Coffee.

11. If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be and why?

MP: There are a few people out there with photographic memories. They remember everything they read and see. When you’re talking to them, you can tell all the lights are on. They’re great speakers and conversationalists. I’d like to be one of those people.

A big thank you to Mark for being so awesome and allowing me to interview him!

Come see his artwork here at the Schmidt from now until
December 18th!

Posted by student intern, Kailey Kirkley.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s