Artist's Biography - Marco
Not only is Brad Pitt a big fan, but the Japanese, Germans, and Italians just love his work. Swiss watch-making giant Swatch and UNICEF are also big fans and, between them, have commissioned watches, murals, greeting cards, toys, mugs-the works.
In fact, in the last ten years alone, this Pop powerhouse's colorful artworks-which blend classic Pop with Keith Haringesque joie de vivre and kicky verve-have turned up on everyone and everything from conventional canvases and prints, to mouse pads, high-fashion mannequins in GQ, duvet covers, even boxer shorts.
Not bad for a guy who began selling his paintings and drawings on the art-smart streets of New York City's Soho. But who is this one-man creative whirlwind who is more a movement than just a great, great artist only? Marco, of course.
Born Peter Marco in 1967 on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Marco is a self-taught artistic dynamo whose punningly positive imagery and bold use of color have earned him the name of the Peter Max of Gen-X (and Y-ers).
It all started in Boston in 1988 when a friend suggested that he'd be better off pursuing his talent back home in New York than drawing on the walls of his college dorm. Heeding the advice, Marco headed home and began his odyssey from the corner of Prince and Greene Streets in Soho into the hearts of countless people around the globe. Along the way, he has picked up licensing agreements all over the world, an animated television series featuring his unmistakable characters, gallery exhibitions, fashion spreads, an e-commerce site, and of course Marcoart, his flagship store and studio on the well-beyond-hip Lower East Side of New York. "As an artist, I'm happy to be working in a store, not a studio," says Marco firmly. "I want to be in touch with the street. Solitude is not the way I operate. I need and love to be disturbed."
And his work shows it. His crazy, kicky, kooky, loony, loopy, nutty, silly, wacky, zany works, with their sunny, traffic-light colors and "Leroy-was-here" cartoon-like imagery, are a joyous celebration-in the best Pop tradition-of the ordinary world. In place of irony-another Pop signature-though, Marco substitutes his own madcap, delighted-to-be-here-and-alive humor. In fact, puns peel off his pencil or brush like sparks off a red hot blow torch. "I like to visually feed people color and shape, and then something more, something to tickle their fancy, make them giggle." World Peas, the title of one work, for example, offers five Planet-Earth-shaped peas in a pod and another, the waggish Dog Eat Dog, captures a toothy hound chowing down on a frankfurter.
But that's the red-hot artist called Marco for you.
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