I am a British fine artist whose work can be found in the Royal collections of H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and also private-public collections around the world, including the new Guggenheim Museum, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
I have been the official artist for Formula 1 commissioned by Bernie Ecclestone and I have completed other large projects such as “Ferrari in Art” and “World Champions in Art” series of 32 paintings purchased by Sebastian Vettel.
My mixed media artwork consists of layer upon layer of photography, paint, resin, fabric and gold leaf, integral to my work are handwritten quotes incorporated in the artwork along with images and ephemera.
1988: Post Grad Diploma. Il Bisonte, International School of Advanced Printmaking, Florence, Italy.
1984: Exchange Student. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA.
1983 – 1986: BA Hons. Fine Art Central School of Art and Design, London.
Article by Sally J. Clarke
Few artists working today seek to communicate beauty through capturing the patterns, colours, shapes and symbols that construct the world. One artist who is concerned with portraying the world in a positive manner and evoking images of beauty is Mark Dickens.
The inspirations for his work are both contemporary and historic. Renaissance artist Masaccio (1401 – 1428) whose painting is considered the first spatially correct painting in western art is of particular importance and he believes that, “Masaccio’s frescoes have given me the freedom to make work in the manner I do....his work although allegorical, conveys a pure untainted sense of an artist’s understanding of his position in the world both spatially and physically”.
Bill Viola (1951 - ) whose work, “The Greeting” has a particular resonance to Mark who says, “ I continue to draw upon Viola’s work not just in the aesthetic visual sense, but also sensibilities, his references to the Florentine renaissance, the spatial awareness, the way he composes his pieces, he is an amazing artist. I think that the nature of one’s influences can be quite cryptic and profound; perhaps one is never totally of the meaning behind this.”
In the world of art the term beauty has fallen out of fashion. Robert Hughes who was considered one of the greatest art critics of his generation, claimed that abstract painting has to do with the divine, that beauty matters as when we seek it we are able to look outside ourselves from our everyday concerns. Furthermore, he asserted that our desire to live with art and learn from it remains unchanged.
The work of Dickens speaks to this perceived desire for beauty, which the contemporary art scene is keen to negate.
It was art and ideas from the Byzantine world that transformed art in Italy with Sicily acting as a melting pot for different civilisations. This interaction of civilisations created work that believed Beauty was divinity and divinity itself was a golden gift, something to be celebrated. Dickens argues in conceptual work, “Beauty is not the artist’s way and not at the forefront of its mindset”.
Mark’s narratives record the beauty in the world around us using a mixture of the visual format of mixed media collage including the use of print, fabric, gold-leaf, paint and hand-written text set into resin. They speak to what is important, what we should remember and what images matter. “My process of building layer upon layer of different elements brings to each work a sense of not only of its apparent surface, but everything that is obscured beneath; itself a metaphor for time present and time past”.
Exhibitions and Commissions
2021 May: “We Roll As One”: Tyre Rolling event at Monaco Grand Prix. Painting collaboration with H.H.Prince Albert, his twins, F1 and Pirelli. Monte Carlo, Monaco.
2020 Sept: Wells Contemporary Art Prize. Wells, UK.
2019 Oct: Space Commission. Houston, Texas, USA.
2019 Oct: Ferrari in Art Exhibition. Dealership, Jersey.
2019 Sept: Ferrari in Art Exhibition. Sponsored by Chubb, Salon Prive, Blenheim Palace, UK. 2019 August: Ferrari in Art Exhibition. Kamp Hotel, Helsinki, Finland.
2019 May: Ferrari in Art Exhibition. Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo. In the presence of H.H.Prince Albert. 2019 Feb: Ferrari in Art. Launch Exhibition, Royal Automobile Club, London, UK.
2017 Dec: Hand Painted F1 Podium Bottles, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. UAE.
2017 Dec: Exhibition W Hotel. Unveiling new work. Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
2017 Oct: Austin F1 Painting Commission, Austin, Texas, USA.
2017 Aug: Painting Collaboration, Lilou et Loic, London, UK.
2017 June: London Group Sculpture Trail Exhibition, Shoreham, Kent, UK.
2017 May: Solo Exhibition. Princess Grace Dance Academy, Monte Carlo, Monaco. 2016 Nov: Visiting Artist. Sheikh Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
2016 Oct: World Champions in Art Exhibition, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas, USA.
2016: Art Workshop. Museum of Contemporary Art. Florianopolis. Brazil.
2016: Launch. “Let's Make Words Not War”. T shirt and Exhibition. Florianopolis. Brazil.
2016 May: Solo Exhibition. Princess Grace Dance Academy, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
2015 Sep: “A Tale of Many Cities”, Solo Exhibition Museum of Art and Design, Singapore.
2015 June: “Combines”, London Group Exhibition. Curated by Mark Dickens. Cello Factory, London, UK.
2014 “From Bomberg to Rego”, The London Group in Southampton, City Art Gallery, Southampton, UK.
2013 Nov: “Around the World in 50 Paintings”, Solo Exhibition. Russell Collection Gallery, Austin, Texas, USA.
2013 May: London Group Centenary Exhibition, Pitshanger Manor, Ealing, London. Curated by Mark Dickens.
2012 Nov: Pirelli Tyre Rolling Commission Exhibition. Blue Tree Hotel, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2012 Oct: Exhibition. Russell Collection Gallery, Austin, Texas, USA.
2012 Sep: “An affair with Formula 1”, Solo Exhibition, Museum of Art and Design, Singapore.
2012 March: Formula One Management Commission, The Exhibition, Cello Factory, London, UK.
2011: Formula One Management Commission Artist in Residence. One Year.
2010 Nov: Solo Exhibition, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. UAE.
2009 Nov: Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Commission. Unveiling. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
2009: Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Commission Exhibition. Solo Exhibition, Waterhouse and Dodd, London, UK.
2009 Sep: Art Hamptons, Art Fair Waterhouse and Dodd Gallery, New York, USA.
2009 March: Art Dubai, Waterhouse and Dodd Gallery Dubai, UAE.
2008 Oct: Art Paris/Abu Dhabi, Waterhouse and Dodd Gallery, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, UAE. 2008 June: “Beautiful World”, Solo Exhibition, Long and Ryle Gallery, London, UK.
2008 March: Scope Art Fair, Mauger Modern Gallery, Miami, USA.