28” x 20”
Courtesy the artist
Vanderbilt Artists Exhibit
Work by Artists from Vanderbilt University's Department of Art
(October 21 – December 9, 2010)
Mark Hosford, born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1974, moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1993 to pursue a BFA in Studio Arts at the University of Kansas. In 1998 he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After receiving his MFA in 2001, Hosford accepted a teaching position at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is currently an associate professor. Hosford has served as president of the Southern Graphics Education Outreach and Vice President of Outreach for the Southern Graphics Council, the largest international printmaking organization. Specializing in printmaking, drawing, and animation, he uses narrative imagery in his art to explore societal curiosities and personal investigations. Hosford has a national, international, and regional exhibition record, including exhibitions in Poland, Germany, South Korea, China, New York, Boston, and California. His work is included in numerous public and private collections. He is represented by Taylor / Bercier Fine Art in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as Cumberland Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee.
When I was a child, I saw something that left a permanent imprint on my imagination: an animated television story of a deer with a red nose that guided a sleigh in the dark. It was not necessarily the specific story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that captivated me. It was the look and textures of the stop-motion animation technique that attracted me. The characters seemed magical and alive. Unlike traditional animation, where the viewer sees paint and ink, these images were real. There was fur that I felt I could touch, talking dolls, living toys, and countless other imaginative creations. As I got older, I became equally obsessed with other animators who worked in this vein, such as Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay. These animated films taught me that anything in this world, animate or inanimate, could become alive, imbued with human psychology if only portrayed in the right way. The films were visceral and moody, psychological eye candy, sensations I try to convey in my own art.
As a child with an overactive imagination, I often envisioned the world as nothing more than dolls and creatures acting out fantastic narratives. I had a difficult time keeping my head in reality, and I never knew when something I was staring at would become a magical door to another world. When I slept, I was constantly visited by fantastic nightmares. My dreams were inescapable and graphic, filling my mind with vivid images I wanted to relay upon waking.
I was a very shy child, and drawing was my only method of sharing my deepest thoughts and concerns. I drew constantly whenever there was something that puzzled or worried me. I drew to make sense of the world around me. To this day, I use drawing in a similar way. Over the years it has evolved, branching out into new forms and techniques.
My recent prints, drawings, and animations draw from my early influences of fantastic, imaginative worlds and lucid dreams. I draw my subject matter from questions, emotional reactions, and fascinations. I use my art to explore the human condition, revealing my personal view of the world, in the hope that others will compare and relate this exploration to their own. It is my belief that the sharing of stories and emotions helps human beings to understand themselves better by peering into the thoughts of others.