By Mark Mothersbaugh
Published Issue 83, November 2020
Mark Mothersbaugh is a Conceptualist. As an undergraduate art student at Kent State University, Mark began creating work in the late 60’s and has created tens of thousands of works to the current day in various mediums including, rubber stamp designs, mail art, decals, prints, ink illustrations, oil paintings, ceramic sculptures, manipulated photographs, video, film compositions, sonic sculptures, rugs, screen savers and so on.
While touring with his band DEVO, it was not uncommon for Mark to lightly “correct” or add onto the bland paintings and prints that adorned the many hundreds of otherwise unmemorable hotel rooms that he occupied for one night at a time. Using a van, bus, hotel room, airplane, or any space as his workspace, he has created over 40,000 drawings which serve as the genesis of ideas that later emerge in his larger projects.
Mark views much of his work as experiments in “beatnik-stream of consciousness” poetry, which to him, is related to speaking in tongues; the surrendering of the intellect to the primordial, or science vs. faith
An observer among us, Mark writes down things that he overhears throughout the day … people at another table, a voice on the radio, pieces of verbal fabric that drift and weave and create the poetry of life, the flotsam and jetsam that swirl around us and fill our subconscious with scraps of what it is to be, according to Mark, a “thinking ape.”
Make your own postcard art and participate in Mark’s latest project with Birdy friend Beatie Wolfe: Postcards for Democracy. In light of the threat to our 225 year old United States Postal Service, their project aims to encourage as many people as possible to support the USPS at this critical time, our right to vote, and democracy as a whole via the power of art. The demonstration asks you to buy USPS stamps, design a postcard and then mail it to 8760 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. The postcards will become part of a collective art piece presented in both a physical gallery and virtual space which will be directed by Mark and Beatie. Learn more at postartfordemocracy.com.