Inspired by the pandemic and propelled on by our fast-paced, meritocracy-based, increasingly-divided society, my paintings (and writing) are a physical manifestation of my internal dialogue of self-reflection and personal judgement. I paint in my basement, find the best possible surface to paint on, use the least horrible brush available, dip into a can of house paint and start without any preconceived notions of what happens next. I layer on colors to either hide or reveal what is underneath. The turmoil that arises from feelings of self-doubt is expressed as geometric shapes woven together or as seemingly random chaos running across the canvas - much like the ebb and flow of thoughts consuming our minds.
These shapes are both in and out of balance with contrasting colors, highlighting the roller coaster of emotions and the intensity of introspection. The absence of conscious thought can create an intriguing palette of color to work with. At least a significant part of me - the free spirited, playful side - rationalizes creation under the guise of this highbrow notion that creativity is in fact a spontaneous process.
I began creating mixed media art during the early days of the pandemic by combining original piano compositions with my abstract paintings. I experimented with color and texture, geometric designs and action painting. I have gained some creative confidence by wading in the dark vernal pools of emotional polarities that come with reflection and introspection. At times, as I create, I see myself as a seasoned stage director who skillfully avoids giving his troop an obvious end result, instead encouraging each player to find a personal connection to the character allowing us to collectively determine the best possible outcome. Phew! Other times, I see myself as the token struggling actor, searching for meaning in what seems a fundamentally immutable life … plus ça change!
The canvas, my personal stage, is where I’m free to let my inner thoughts share a story as colorful and messy as life so often is and I have grown accustomed to use this place as my source of inspiration and to grow as a person. And to safely fall flat on my ass without judgment or need to explain away the awkwardness of why I made a spontaneous creative choice that really has no broader significance than it being an outward expression of what was just an unconscious thought.
Mark Rosalbo was raised in Leeds, Maine. He spent much of his early childhood exploring along the banks of the Androscoggin and Dead Rivers, the latter one of only a handful of rivers in the world that can flow in either direction. Early life socio-economic hardships shaped much of Mark's artistic choices as a composer, actor and painter. Many in his circle, including his brother, succumbed to various cancers like Leukemia as a result of living along Maine’s rivers once polluted by paper mills. After graduating from high school, Mark moved to Los Angeles to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating from AADA, he moved to NYC. He also became a successful trader on Wall St. and remained in the city until shortly after 9/11 when he moved his family to Vermont to enjoy the banks of (this time much cleaner) rivers. You can find more of his work on his website: https://solo.to/markrosalbo.