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Marcus Cain

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Lives in
Kansas City

Works in
Kansas City


Kansas City Art Institute

Representing galleries

figurative, abstract, surrealism, installation



Marcus Cain is an artist, writer and Executive Director/Curator of the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas. Former positions include Owner/Co-Director of Satellite Exhibitions, Editor in Chief of Review: Visual Art Culture magazine, Kansas City Art Institute Instructor/Lecturer of Painting/Drawing and Corporate Partnership Exhibitions Coordinator, and Assistant Director for Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art.

As an artist, Marcus has exhibited nationally and his artwork may be found in such public and private collections as the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, BBC Worldwide America, American Century Investments, H&R Block, Sprint Corporation, Westin Hotels, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and the private collection of Designer Todd Oldham. He is represented in the Midwest by Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art.

Artist Statement

We exert a certain amount of energy as we grow throughout our lives, and this amount is gradually expressed and dissipates around us. It is as if we are all drawing from the same massive swirl of particles, exchanging energy in an infinite ebb and flow.

My latest paintings are part of an ongoing series of semi-abstract works that draw on the form of an iconic portrait head to explore a threshold of mindfulness (with thought landing somewhere between a solid consciousness and liquid subconscious). I am currently interested in acts of transformation and shifting identities, and by using a painterly process of pointillism or stippling and dripping, I allow form to merge with atmosphere. My hope is to somehow capture the figure in an act of transformation — an in-between state. Although this figure may vary from painting to painting, they converge or dissipate from specific origins, sometimes represented by interior portals or eyes — eyes that assume a kind of energy or life force that either emanates outward or collapses inward not unlike the stars in our universe. 

For me, these figures become portraits of that energy as I try to capture something that isn’t necessarily seen, whether it’s a spirit or a soul or some sense of being — that chemical energy that both occupies and surrounds us, and propels us forward.

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