A Greater Narrative: Art by Mark Thomas Gibson
So 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.
Beholder, 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.