National Geographic

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© Courtesy of the artist and Packer Schopf Gallery
National Geographic

942 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60608
June 1st, 2012 - July 7th, 2012
Opening: June 1st, 2012 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

West Loop/West Town
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5:30pm
paintings on found paper


Mark Crisanti is an artist unique to the contemporary art world, because he strives to provide subtle elements in a straightforward manner that collectively create an evocative work of art. The artist has a way of connecting with the viewer by evoking a charm of a different era. He incorporates recognizable imagery serving as a memoir to an older generation. By pairing family-owned relics with figurative paintings, he makes works that are both nostalgic, and highly personal.  One of Crisanti’s most recent paintings creates dynamic visuals with a stark contrast of color and form between foreground and background. In this untitled work, a bird in a business suit is painted atop vintage National Geographic covers. Another work is a portable artist’s case for tubes and brushes, with a paint palette.  He adhered dictionary pages over the palette and in areas where brushes and tubes of paint reside.

He then painted a series of avian portraits over the inside of the case and did a small scene over the palette. Both pieces display the artist’s ability to make work that is both refined and intimate.  The bird motif is a reference to his own past, as bird watching was a favorite pastime of his Mother’s. When she passed away, one of the first items Cristanti found and then used in a work was a guide to North American birds that his mother would often read. His very first painting of a bird was a religious portrait of his Mother with a Robin’s head.