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Maps as a Medium: Art by Mark M. Garrett

A collage and gouache art piece depicting a map covered partially in dark waterSemolina Series, scissor-drawn collage and gouache

Mark M. Garrett, our featured artist today, lives and works in San Francisco, creating collaged works that often take maps as a medium. Sometimes he changes the topography of an existing map, adding swirling cut-out shapes and painting with watercolour or gouache, while at other times he uses maps completely out of context, transforming them into anatomical diagrams and other images.


A collage artwork depicting partial human anatomyTrapezius I, cut paper and collage

A screen capture of Mark M Garrett's art


In some of Mark’s earlier works the artist experimented with three-dimensional forms, filling found frames and pieces of furniture with sculptural objects, collages and mixed media artworks. Like the scalpel-cut works of Richard Galpin, Mark uses scissors to physically manipulate his maps, creating strange worlds and scenes from dreams. 


I like seeing some of Mark’s drawings in his portfolio, as well. They are something of a departure from his collaged works, smoother and perhaps slightly simpler, but a pleasure to look at all the same. 


A drawing of a Eucalyptus treeEucalyptus I

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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