Mark Hopkins was Born in Poughkeepsie, in New York State. He attended St. Olaf School in Minnesota the place he acquired a level in positive artwork in 1981. Within the following years he lived in Minneapolis the place he painted surroundings for theater and opera and freelanced as a muralist, portraitist, and inside designer. In 1987 he moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand. He taught English at Chiang Mai College for a 12 months till he began a cabaret enterprise known as The Six-Pole Home the place modern artists, poets, and musicians exhibited their skills. On the similar time he maintained an artwork studio within the higher ground the 100+ 12 months previous Chinese language shophouse which housed the cabaret. It was at the moment that Mark’s early fashion was fashioned. Throughout these years he performed minor roles in TV and film productions, traveled to Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, and so forth. the place he noticed among the wonders of Asia like Borobudur and Bagan and initiated connections with established artists and musicians within the area. These experiences have performed an enduring function within the inspiring Mark’s later inventive expression. The colour, the types of artwork, and the standard varieties and methods of life are a continuing affect in Mark’s inventive course of. After a number of years Mark moved to Bali the place he took on work illustrating books on Asian structure, tradition, and pure magnificence. He additionally began a enterprise offering graphic design and mural decorations for firms across the area. In 1997 Mark moved to Singapore to develop his enterprise into making props and costumes for occasions, offering artwork restoration companies, and portray portraits for outstanding households on the island. In 1998 he met his spouse Maria and moved to the US a 12 months later. Of late, Mark works as a muralist, portraitist, and artwork restorer whereas additionally portray private works in studio. He at the moment resides in Rhinebeck NY, the place he tends his gardens between journey excursions.
Modern human tradition is perceived by many to be dystopian: there’s a sense of discontinuity between the individual and their world, their reality, and their happiness. Isolation has been ubiquitous since lengthy earlier than Covid. Fashionable life is surrealistic: days and years unfold in dreamlike bubbles. Our perceptions are automated by algorithms that kind our worldview and with media crafting a actuality derived from what we watch however don’t witness. Expertise is fragmented. That is basic surrealism. My work seeks to knit the dissolving dystopia again right into a coherent complete.
Interview with Mark Hopkins
SurrealismToday: That is your second time being featured on Surrealism As we speak. You have been initially featured in 2019. What are you fascinated with as of late?
Mark Hopkins: Like many artists, I’ve been digesting the occasions and modifications of the previous three years. It looks like life has grow to be extra surreal; areas divvied up and guided by directional arrows and faces hidden below protecting masks or individuals encased inside plastic limitations. We have now seen our communities morph in fascinating methods. Individuals are extra solitary and we work together increasingly by proxies like telephones and computer systems. Elon Musk makes the case that we’re evolving into cyborgs; solely our machine elements–for now–are exterior. One concept that I intend to make use of in upcoming work is how the character of being ‘human’ is affected by the dynamics of those current societal modifications together with the introduction of the Metaverse and AI augmentation. I discover these developments each fascinating and a bit scary. Good for a great portray.
ST: How do you introduce your self?
MH: Recently I’ve adopted my web site identify ‘hopkinesque‘. It has a hoop to it.
ST: What do you inform individuals after they ask in regards to the concepts in your work?
MH: It’s difficult. Visible artwork is, by nature, a non-verbal mode of communication… in any other case we might be writers and story-tellers, proper? So it’s a problem to clarify artwork and extra particularly content-heavy artwork like Surrealism. I like speaking with individuals in regards to the common themes of my work; the myths and mysteries of historical religions/tradition, sacred geometry, the evolution of humanity within the twenty first century, and so forth. Usually the Concepts expressed in particular works are deliberately made ambiguous to immediate a viewer to discover a variety of meanings – or to posit their very own into the work. With a number of interpretations doable for a similar portray (not solely from totally different viewers, however from a single viewer at totally different viewings) it’s extra doubtless that I’ll ask individuals what concepts they see in a portray slightly than inform them what I supposed them to be. It makes for very fascinating exchanges.
ST: Are you able to inform us about this newest collection?
MH: I used to be pondering of the concept of the ‘Savior’ in a troubled world. Generally it looks like we’re sinking right into a morass of local weather change, racial strife, all method of social and societal modifications and it could be good to have a hero present up and kind the lot out. Who would that individual/entity be? What would they do? Would they get it proper? Possibly it takes not a hero, however a idiot to do it. Possibly it’s us… we’re the fools… we’re those we have now been ready for all alongside. Possibly we have now the solutions, the instruments, and the grit to rescue ourselves. All we have to do is have the motivation and the boldness to get began.
Return of the Delusion is a fancy piece that grapples with free will, free alternative, danger, penalties, and the infinity of likelihood. The Mandelbröt set is pictured in perspective below the bubble dome symbolizing the infinite or what some would possibly name God. Footprints symbolize the journey to knowledge or the ‘return’ we embark on as we search the divine or the ‘fable’ of the divine. We see a pair of Putti. One is tethered, his thoughts locked into the world of ‘actuality’. The opposite is floating in a world of spontaneous freedom filled with danger but filled with prospects. A stylized zygote on the backside is the binary opposition present in ‘male/feminine’, ‘mild/darkish’, ‘good/evil’, or the yin/yang of the Tao (nothing is thought until its complement is thought.) The zygote additionally symbolizes delivery/fertility the place life and concepts start. What the symbolic assemblage on this piece means is a query each individual has a novel reply for.
In 2010 Carlos Santana returned to Woodstock (now known as Bethel Woods) to play a live performance. He started the present by strolling onto the stage and saying; “Welcome to floor zero… of LOVE!” (We have been nearer to Sept. 11 then.) It was the beginning of an incredible live performance – so alive in spirit and so fantastically performed by a music-master of the 1960’s rock age.
I appreciated the way in which he impressed his viewers with discuss of unity and common love. So, I made a decision to color a bit for him as a present. The picture behind Santana is of the good Mayan calendar. (The calendar reached the top of 1 full cycle on 21 December 2012 and a few thought the world would finish at the moment.) Santana floats in entrance of it as a Yogi in meditation. Skinny wisps of pinkish mist symbolize the delicate time of a life on earth and the eyes throughout the mist are these of consciousness and in addition these of Horus, ‘The all-seeing’. Under Santana is the Chinese language character for ‘coronary heart’ or ‘corazon’ in Spanish. Floating within the air are heavenly spheres, symbols of the universe and of the Gods of previous. My hope is to offer it to Santana some day, however as but I haven’t had the possibility.
This one is a foray into abstraction. The that means is totally within the title: Xenophilia is the attraction one has to one thing utterly totally different.
Michaelangelo painted God giving the spark of life to Adam within the Sistine Chapel. It’s considered one of my favourite photos in artwork and the inspiration for this piece. In our twenty first century actuality People now not stay within the primordial world depicted on that Sistine ceiling. In our world we have now grow to be the creators. Push a button and worlds seem…. cash flows… and actuality shifts and alternates. The bytes in Adam’s Apple ship emojis to Eve who’s misplaced within the mall of Eden… the brand new temple. The snake is extinct. Outdated, fossilized gods watch in impotence as we step right into a digital future. This portray loosely represents these ideas and has a poem that provides a philosophical facet to them:
‘X’ is the house the place Adam thinks…
And heeds temptation’s taunting
Took existence to the brink
His bites of data haunting.
The viper Knew the place finest to strike
The center of human pleasure
The employees, that rod, he used to spike
The rib the place God’s forbidden fruits abide.
Adam’s Dad was not amused
The Grasp is aware of no laughter
Preliminary Sin, was he accused
And Grace got here a-tumblin’ after.
Now we’re caught in Eden’s crime
We wage the cosmic raffle
Take a leap or do the time
The prize is Adam’s apple.
SurrealismToday: What’s the final portray you accomplished?
Mark Hopkins: The Final Supper.
It’s a take-off of DaVinci’s Portray of Christ’s Seder earlier than he was crucified. However this piece is inverted. Christ is lacking. The sadducees are on the desk, not the disciples. That is the eschatological dinner for the top of days. The characters in my portray are fascinating personalities on the forefront of current occasions and are drivers of the directional shift humanity is present process. It’s an enormous piece (12 x 4 toes) with plenty of symbolic imagery to consider so everybody will perceive it otherwise. The conversations I’ve had with individuals over The Final Supper have been superb.
ST: What did you need to be while you have been rising up?
MH: I had no concept. It by no means occurred to me that I used to be going to be one thing or someone till I needed to apply for faculty. I threw a dart on the proverbial board and went for engineering. That lasted about three months earlier than I give up and leapt into artwork.
SurrealismToday: What piece are you most happy with? and why?
Mark Hopkins: Most likely the piece known as ‘Focus 666‘. It’s a magnum opus: it’s 7 toes tall and displays a few of my finest portray expertise. I’m happy with the composition, the colour work and the idea. It’s a press release on the loopy concept of waging conflict in a nuclear age and the way true knowledge (the Buddha) sees previous the machinations of people for energy and wealth and into the peaceable bliss of data and love.
ST: What’s the finest piece of recommendation you could have ever acquired?
MH: “Conquer the small.” That is particularly helpful when younger. Rising a profession, engaged on advanced stuff, conquering the fright of a clean canvas is simpler in small manageable chunks.
ST: What’s one factor they tried to show you at school that you just knew instantly was incorrect?
Mark Hopkins: Artwork! Ha ha! Artwork academics can’t train you artwork. They will train expertise and strategies, tradition and historical past, how you can critique and write nicely, how you can knit concepts collectively, how you can see… However they’ll’t train that inventive act known as ‘artwork’. It has to develop by itself from observe and life expertise.
ST: Who’s the one individual, useless or alive, that you just wish to have dinner with and why?
Mark Hopkins: Only one? John Lennon in his prime… possibly round 1964. However there are others. Many others.
SurrealismToday: The place is your favourite place?
Mark Hopkins: Up to now it was Bali. As we speak, it’s wherever I’m in the mean time.
ST: Who’re your largest influences?
MH: My mates. They encourage me to be fearless in artwork, in residing, and in love. And so they put up with the consequence (me).
ST: Which present artwork world developments are you following?
MH: Good query. Surrealism in digital artwork. I’ve been watching the shift from bodily artwork right into a world of digital artwork, video video games, and NFT’s as individuals spend extra of their lives on-line. Individuals can now personal, commerce, retailer, and show a number of works in a single place and so they can work together with it as nicely. Will they need sensible digital artwork or select images? Will summary artwork have the identical influence on a display because it does on a wall? Thought-heavy and symbolic work makes extra sense in a digital world, so it appears to be like like surrealism has a robust future there. Beeple Crap is an effective instance of this pattern. For me, I nonetheless love the aesthetics of portray; the odor of canvas, the texture of a brush, and the sensual great thing about oils. So I’m not giving up my brushes simply but.
ST: What can’t you reside with out?
MH: Reality… and beer.
ST: What’s your dream challenge?
MH: I’d wish to make a portray that impacts the world for the higher and speaks to individuals in any future age.
ST: What’s your favourite art work?
Mark Hopkins: Most likely Rembrandt’s ‘Dying Of Lucretia‘ within the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. It’s a scene of Lucretia who has determined to take her life after being violated by Tarquin. She is sitting on her mattress… or death-bed. She has simply withdrawn a knife from her bosom and sits there as her life-force ebbs away in a rising stain of blood on her pure white robe. In her face is a resolute disappointment painted by Rembrandt with beautiful sensitivity. In viewing his portrayal of Lucretia one can think about the extreme grief of that second. The portray strikes me deeply 360 years after it was painted. It’s a pinnacle of inventive expression. A detailed second is Vermeer’s ‘Lady With a Pearl Earring‘. Dali’s ‘Persistence of Reminiscence‘ is a detailed third.
ST: What’s at the moment in your playlist?
MH: Recreation of Thrones’ reruns.
ST: What offers you life?
MH: The inventive course of. It retains me studying and researching. It retains me plugged in to any and all issues I can get my fingers on. And it retains me in touch with extraordinary individuals. By no means is there a boring second to fill.
ST: What’s your superpower?
MH: I’m bloody robust for my age. Does that rely?
ST: What’s your Kryptonite?
Mark Hopkins: Good meals. It’s arduous to maintain trim and match with all of the temptations round.
ST: When you may go to any artist’s studio, whose would you go to and why?
MH: My good friend Pranoto’s in Ubud, Bali. I like his work, he’s nice to be round. There may be all the time music and artwork occurring, and twice per week he hosts fashions for determine drawing.
ST: What was an fascinating factor you keep in mind shopping for?
MH: A blanket woven by the Naga headhunters of northern Burma. Stunning and a bit scary. It’s attractive.
ST: What concepts are you at the moment pondering?
MH: Every thing, actually. All issues are in flux and what we used to assume was… isn’t. What wasn’t… may be. Heroes are appearing villains for rent, science has grow to be faith, religions are appearing bizarre, after which there’s conflict, inflation, climate, the true nature of man (or not-man), and who, pray inform, constructed these bloody pyramids!!?? A lot to ponder!
ST: What’s one factor you imagine that most individuals don’t?
MH: That there was a really historical tradition that existed on earth earlier than recorded historical past, that it was international in extent, and has left proof in megalithic buildings world wide. As well as, there appear to be threads of proof of this forgotten tradition in myths and early languages.
Surrealism As we speak: What imaginary place would you’re keen on to go to?
Mark Hopkins: Rivendell.
ST: What’s your favourite factor on this planet, and why?
MH: Certainly one of them is a portray by my finest good friend Richard A. Wilson who has handed away.
ST: When you may collaborate with anybody, who would it not be, and why?
MH: I all the time needed to do a collaboration with my two finest mates and my faculty mentor. One good friend made poems of paint; stunning lyrical items that basically had soul. The opposite good friend, Bruce Granquist, is an summary painter whose work is exact, stunning and interesting in its idea. My mentor A Malcolm Gimse is a sculptor and a profound thinker. His work has a number of layers of that means and sometimes addresses the existential troubles of people in a tough world. My contribution could be the hallucinatory expertise of ‘thoughts’. Collectively, our work would have made a formidable group present. Sadly one is useless, and the remainder of us are separated by huge distances. Subsequent life, maybe.
ST: What’s subsequent for you?
MH: I’m planning a e book that includes work and poems. Search for that and a few much-needed updates to my IG and web site at hopkinesque.com by mid-year 2023. In fact there’s all the time extra artwork… a visit to South America to see historical megalithic ruins… and, in fact, a solo present at MOMA! (LOL)