Mark Dion (American, b. August 28, 1961) is a unique artist who uses mixed media to create art that conveys the ways people have been conditioned by society to make connections. He heavily relies on scientific categorization methods, plus artifacts and other physical objects that are incorporated into what he terms "Curios of Curiosity." His intent is to make people see differences between rational and irrational perception. In 1986, Dion earned his BFA from the Hartford School of Art. He has also attended New York's School of Visual Arts and studied using the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. The University of Hartford's School of Art bestowed an honorary Doctor of Arts degree upon Dion in 2003.
One of Dion’s ambitious projects, Tate Thames Dig, involved several phases to complete, including an archeological dig along the Thames river in London, organization, and classification. The Port of Los Angeles is home to a similar themed piece named Ship in the Bottle. Neukom Vivarium, located at the Seattle Art Museum, is a living, educational hybridization that combines sculpture with science. It is a permanent installation display that combines a variety of lower life forms together with varying artistic elements in order to explain the scientific classifications.
Major exhibitions for Dion's art have taken place at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau, and London's Tate Gallery. The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco is home to his Oceanomania: Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas exhibition. Dion currently divides his time between New York and Beach Lake, PA. He teaches in the visual art department at Columbia University, wrote Archaeology, and is the co-author of Concrete Jungle. New York's Tanya Bonakdar Gallery acts as broker for his works. The Smithsonian American Art Museum awarded Dion the Lucelia Artist Award in 2008.