Mark Dean Veca‘s pop paintings portray the collapse of the American dream and consumer society itself. His images familiar corporate logos and cartoon characters associated with American culture, re-appropriated, subverted and stripped of all their power.
What’s interesting about Veca is that the substance of his work is about contemporary society, politics, economics and justice but his his style emanates from a time past, an analogue age, his influences heavily indebted to the likes of MAD magazine, Popeye and Zippy the Pinhead as well as artists such as Ed Ruscha and Dr Seuss. It’s this juxtaposition of style and substance that turn his vitriol about American capitalism into a unique aesthetic that pulls a century of American culture together onto one canvas.
Advertising iconography plays a large part in these paintings with Veca co-opting logos and patriotic insignias, subverting their meaning and twisting their self serving meanings into dark sinister images that he renders in his familiar psychedelic style with its flat colours, bubbly line and full frontal compositional quality that reminds you that Veca is also an accomplished street artist and mural painter, a street artist working indoors.
Meg Linton, curator and the Director of Galleries and Exhibitions at the Ben Maltz Gallery had this to say about Vecas work:
Mark Dean Veca is a purveyor of prehistoric magic: creating space on a two-dimensional plane with a few lines of charcoal, ink, or paint. He draws on paper, canvas or walls and uses simple black lines to manifest volume, space, and depth. He shares his illusionary worlds and characters to express the internal and external tension of the human condition as he experiences it. His work is visceral, carnal, with its depictions of organs and orifices and writhing tendons, arteries, and intestines. It is comic and unnerving with strong contrasting palettes and patterns and odd juxtapositions of historical and popular iconography often abbreviated, disfigured, or exposed. Whether large or small the work is intentionally spectacular and the artist wholeheartedly embraces his constructive affliction of horror vacui.
Mark Dean Veca’s new show ‘Made for You and Me’ is on until 9th March, 2013 at Cristin Tierney Gallery, 546 West 29th Street, New York