Life and work
Mark D was born and spent his childhood in Peterborough. He now lives in Nottingham. From university onwards, Mark D (D standing for "degenerate") played in various bands including the Fat Tulips, Confetti (when he was known as David), the Pleasure Heads (when he was known as Mark Randyhead), Oscar, Servalan and Sundress, and appeared on dozens of releases. He published and edited fanzines, including the underground C86 fanzine Two Pint Take Home. He is a co-owner of Heaven Records.
The Fat Tulips were formed in 1987 and have been described as "incredibly skilled in the art of buzzing electric guitars, ferocious tempos, pristine pop melodies and lyrics that weren't nearly as sweet as they sounded at first listen."
A few years after the Fat Tulips broke up in the mid-1990s, he started a dealership in art and antiques with his wife, Tully, focusing on work from the 1960s and 1970s, including John Piper, Stig Lindberg, Lucienne Day and John Clappison.
An interest in the music of Billy Childish led onto Childish's paintings, which he acquired, and subsequently also the work of other artists in the Stuckist group. He contacted two artists who had been exhibited by the Stuckists, Stella Vine and Gina Bold, both of whom refused to sell him work, because of his connection with Childish. Vine responded with an email, which said, "Go fuck yourself".
Frustrated at not being able to acquire that work for his collection and inspired by an Andy Warhol quote, "If you want to sell paintings you have to make paintings", Mark D began in May 2005 to make his own paintings, for which he had no formal training or qualifications ("my only qualification is a love of art"). He was encouraged and given advice by Stuckist co-founder, Charles Thomson, without whom Mark D said, "I could easily have given up on doing my own work."
His paintings make visual and verbal comments on well-known figures in the art world, starting with Billy Childish, Tracey Emin, Stella Vine and Damien Hirst. He describes Emin as "without doubt a very talented artist whose work I greatly admire." In response to the controversy over the Tate's purchase of its trustee Chris Ofili's work, The Upper Room, he painted a picture of the Tate chairman, Paul Myners—who had defended the purchase—called The Hypocrisy of Myners. A reproduction of this work was featured on a placard outside the Turner Prize in December 2005 during a Stuckist demonstration against the purchase.
Mark D first exhibited in September 2005 with the Stuckists at La Viande gallery, Shoreditch, in a show ''Painting Is the Medium of Yesterday"—Paul Myners CBE, Chairman of Tate Gallery, Chairman of Marks and Spencer, Chairman of Aspen Insurance, Chairman of Guardian Media, Director of Bank of England, Director of Bank of New York. A Show of Paintings by the Stuckists, as Refused by the Tate Gallery. Guaranteed 100% Free of Elephant Dung.
His solo show, Mark D and the Stuckists v Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, was at the Art Organisation gallery in March 2007. It included a display of material about Stuckist demonstrations. As well as his own paintings he showed paintings by other Stuckist artists from his collection, which he jointly owns with his wife, Tully, and states is "the world's largest collection of Stuckist paintings".
In February 2008, he staged a show of his paintings, which satirise Stella Vine's images of Princess Diana and Kate Moss, replacing the former with Victoria Beckham and showing Moss eating slugs. The exhibition, held jointly with Abby Jackson at La Viande gallery in Shoreditch, London, was called Disney Heroines Committing Suicide.
Some outstanding musicians have proved that all you need are 3 chords and a cheap guitar to come up with a classic. I find it much more interesting to listen to some low budget production record full of life and energy with lots of good ideas, (e.g. early Clash and Velvet Underground, The Vaselines, The White Stripes and, of course, Billy Childish with the Buff Medways etc.) than some over-produced bland pomp like Athlete, Coldplay or U2.
- Deedes, Henry. "Vine's Stuckist rival sticks one on her at exhibition", The Independent, 13 February 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "Mark D: Biog/text", stuckism.com. Retrieved 13 February 2008
- Caught in Flux no. 7, 1998 Retrieved 24 March 2006
- D, Mark; Thomson, Charles. "Paintings – Gina Bold". Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- Zajac, Camilla (8 May 2007). "Stuckists at the Art Organisation". BBC. Retrieved 29 May 2007.
- "Mark D: Introduction", stuckism.com. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "Disney Heroines Committing Suicide", La Viande. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- Thomson, Charles. "Charles Thomson" in: Jeffreys, Tom. "London exhibitions", Spoonfed Media, 19 December 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
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