From The Postcard Diaries – May 18, 2021
By Mark Mothersbaugh
Published Issue 090, June 2021
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.”