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A Greater Narrative: Art by Mark Thomas Gibson

A painting of a foot being ensnared by a vineSo Slips the Knot, acrylic on canvas

Mark Thomas Gibson is an American painter who works with visual tropes of contemporary pop culture, creating figurative images that act as pieces of a greater narrative.

A painting done in a comic book styleBeholder, acrylic on canvas


The way he colors his works is very reminiscent of graphic novels and comic books – hard, precise outlines, and flat colors with heavy black shading create a dramatic look. The images themselves are often slightly surreal, presenting a very small fragment of a potentially complex story. Gibson has stated in interviews that his work seeks to repurpose the visual language of comic books from a style that is often marginalized or treated as “lowbrow,” and elevate it to a conceptual, fine art existence.


Recently Gibson also created a book of narrative drawings, Some Monsters Loom Large, to accompany his paintings. I like the way one can see the artist’s style and the imagery of the drawings transform into the paintings while maintaining key aspects. Some paintings which include the title text for the drawings could function as cover pages as much as stand-alone artworks.

A painting including text elementsUntitled

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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