Artist Spotlight Series: Mark Boomershine
What is your training?
I have a business degree and a minor in studio art from the University of Alabama. I have always had a very strong talent in anything visual and dealing with the arts. After starting and selling one business, then inventing an automotive safety product and licensing the idea, my wife said I should focus on what has always made me happiest. Painting. That was five years ago. The fifth painting I “formally” created still stands on permanent exhibit at The Booth Museum‘s Contemporary artist space, which is a true honor. The Booth is an amazing museum and is affiliated with the Smithsonian Museum.
What inspires you and your designs?
It’s funny. I often feel like I am trying to make my day to day life like something out of some fantastic 1960’s foreign cinema. I love the visuals of that era and I think it often comes out in my work. Obviously the pop movement has a very strong presence in my work as well as the 1980’s imagery while I was a teenager. I think that is where my strong focus on Wonder Woman comes from with the imagery of the late 70’s early 80’s Linda Carter Wonder Woman. My wife and I are very visual find so much joy in making things visually appealing. Our 1924 Italianate house in Atlanta is a testimony to my that. We call it our design lab 🙂
What is your favorite piece?
I recently finished a piece that I simply stare at and love to look at. It is a skull with the Wonder Woman hair and tiara. The background is a beautiful application of layers of soft pink underlayment with a top coat of many layers of silver and gold varnish with suspended glittery metallic flakes. The piece is titled “Wonderfully Disturbing”, which is an obvious play on the Wonder Woman character. The piece is gets a lot of “oh my’s” here in mostly conservative Atlanta, which I get a kick out of. However, I noticed that after people get their initial look and shock they come back looking more at the beauty of the piece and leave with that as their final taste. I was blown away when I first saw Damien Hirst’s “For the Love of God” piece and I wanted to emulate that work in “Wonderfully Disturbing”. I also have been enjoying the serigraph print making medium. I think my Twiggy series was very successful. They are metallic paint medium on a metallic glitter paper I created.
How has your area or upbringing influenced your work?
As I mentioned in #2 being a early teenager in the 80’s had a strong impact on my work. I think one funny influence I notice the other day may have been the visuals I was seeing on MTV. I think was that my often used wordplay in my pieces may have been influence by Wham’s large words on their white sweatshirts while jumping around gleefully on stage. I think A-Ha’s sketchy drawn video for “Take On Me”, may have had an influence as well.
What is your favorite restaurant in Atlanta?
Atlanta has wonderful culinary options, and it is nearly impossible to keep up with all of them that are constantly popping up. However, we have a go to for business dinners or the like and it’s name is JCT. It specializes in modern interpretations of southern favorites such as buttermilk fried chicken.
For high cuisine we always love Bacchanalia.
6. What is your favorite cocktail?
I am pretty simple… I love anything with dark rum. It is my go to drink whenever we are boating (my wife and I are working on our captains license) and therefore it always reminds me of the islands and memories of our sea going adventure with friends.
7. How do you balance personal life and work?
That is a timely question! We just had our second child just this past Friday. Prior to kids we balanced work with travel and we loved the freedom it afforded. We may have been in a wonderful exotic setting sipping a cocktail, but we also may have had a laptop on our lap working on some proposal or emails. Now with the children I am Mr. Mom during the day while my wife is in her office (we both work from home) on conference calls a day with her home office and factory in Indiana (she is the founder and chief creative officer of cindab, www.cindab.com). Then when our daughter goes down for the night my work day begins. I am really productive between about 8pm and 1 am. My studio is in our carriage house behind the main house. It is a fantastic setting with garden views and a view of the house that makes it look like we are in a small Italian village. With two kids it will be a little tougher, but we will manage.
8. Dream trip?
My wife and I have been so lucky to have had many dream trips in our 17 years of marriage. We have literally been around the world and hiked near Everest, ridden elephants in Thai jungles looking for rhino, and lived in a camper van in New Zealand for a month. If we never traveled again we could have called it a good run. Now with kids we want to show them the world. We plan on many boating adventures so they can see what we fear is a disappearing treasure of wildlife. We love St. Barths, French West Indies. Not for the party scence, but for the beauty, the French influence, and the amazing design aesthetic of the Villas on the island.
9. Dream commission?
I actually just received it. It is from a very successful executive with a fizzy beverage company based here in Atlanta (who could that be?). It is a large piece that will measure 4 feet x 10 feet and they gave me the liberty on the piece with the subject matter being Sean Connery as James Bond with Bond women and the words “Bond…James Bond”. The client has just finished off a large basement space where they created an in house night club and my piece will definitely set the tone for the space when finished.
10. Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Whichever one my wife recommends…
11. Who is your style icon?
I am a fan of men’s clothing in a very haberdashery sense. The term bespoke is being thrown around these days. On the obscure side I turn to Nick Wooster
and Angel Ramos to keep my ideas fresh.
It is very cliche, but the movie stars of the sixties and seventies such as Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood were always top notch and effortless.
12. Your favorite up and coming artist?
That is hard to say, and I say that because my wife and I are involved with the advisory board for Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). There are so many talented students in the program I could almost pick any of them.
13. What is your most treasured possession?
I usually look at that question as what I would grab if the house were on fire. I would grab as many photo albums as possible for sure, my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal “bandit”, and the watch my wife gave me on our wedding day. Besides those I have a soft spot in my heart for my 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 that we have owned for 15 years.
14. What are you reading?
I try and keep my faith to keep me grounded. I am a Christian and attempt try and read as much on the faith as possible. A friend of mine, Bryant Cornett, wrote a book named “A Rooster Once Crowed”. It is filled with fantastic insight. I also listen to a lot of books while painting.
I just finished “Sailing Alone Around the World” by Captain Joshua Slocum. In 1890 he was the first to single handedly sail 43, 000 miles around the world. It was the equivalent to being an astronaut at the time.
15. What are you listening to?
16. What are your favorite blogs / publications?
I enjoy the freshness and in your face nature of Vice Magazine.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Mark Boomershine and his fun take on Pop culture through the eyes of an artist. His work is available through Voltz Clarke Gallery and see his full resume of shows HERE.
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