Mark Whalen and his pastel, mathematical diorama worlds
Mark Whalen’s work has always baffled us. The clean lines, perfect grids and flat print-like colour seem too hyper-real to all be created at the helm of his human hand. This Australian-born and LA-based artist has been rustling around the art world for a while now. Growing from a background in graffiti, some may recall the mayhem of his previous alias Kill Pixie, who sprayed crooked, evil faces around the streets of Sydney and Melbourne. Well, Kill Pixie grew up, removed the mask and transitioned into the fine art realms of paper, painting, ceramics, sculpture, animation and installation.
Mark’s work explores the human condition, skewing everyday events and narratives into a futuristic alternate world. Interpersonal dramas between humans in confined, sterile spaces, surrounded by plants and plotted along a grid or meticulous, intricate patterns. The work is so intricate and lines so precise, it seems obsessive. The repetition, geometry and maths that has gone into the grids and perspectives Mark executes in his work is incredible. It’s like the meticulous symmetry of Escher sitting alongside the diorama-like work from Bosch.
To be honest, sometimes we look at Mark’s work and are reminded of the pixel-y, constructed worlds of Habbo Hotel. C’mon, don’t pretend like you never had an account. Mark Whalen totally had an account. With his subject matter and inspirations stemming from studying the human condition and social climates, maybe we’re not too far off? Nah, we’re pretty sure he was too cool for Habbo. Sorry man, that was out of line.