London, United Kingdom
Wednesday, November 13, 2013–Friday, November 29, 2013
In his latest collaboration Mark has turned for inspiration to the world of ballet. the female dancer, with her extraordinary physique and natural poise, is surely the apotheosis of an artist’s
model. It is then, a great privilege, even for an artist of Mark’s stature to be given the opportunity to work with Marianela Nuñez, a Principal at the Royal Ballet. Marianela has received great acclaim as Kitri in the Royal Ballet's new production of Don Quixote. A much loved star of the international ballet world Marianela has proved a natural model and the perfect sitter for Mark’s latest project. This beautiful collection is a testament to the talent of an artist at the height of his powers and the natural elegance and grace of one the greatest dancers of her generation.
Mark Demsteader’s journey to becoming one of Britain’s leading figurative painters has been far from conventional. Born in 1963, his formative years were spent amidst the sights and sounds
of Manchester’s Meat Market. Here as a child he accompanied his father to the family butchery and meat packing business. Completely absorbed in the noise, smells and sheer physicality of this environment, the young Mark learnt more about the structure of sinew, bone and flesh, albeit livestock not human, than in any subsequent life drawing class.
As a teenager, passionate about pursuing an artistic career, Mark completed two foundation courses,first at Oldham and then Rochdale colleges of art. However in the 1980s conceptual art dominated the mainstream market and there were slim pickings for a young determinedly figurative painter in Manchester. Forced to return to work at his father’s wholesale butchery Mark continued to attend life classes religiously throughout the next decade.
In the early 1990s the family business fell victim to the recession and Mark was spurred on to find a commercial outlet for his work. To allow himself time to build a portfolio he took a job as an art
technician at an Oldham grammar school for ten years. A short course at the Slade gave him an opportunity to tour the London galleries with his portfolio but with Brit Art in the ascendency
he found good drawing very much out of favour. Luckily a gallery in Greenwich had the fore sight to offer him space in a mixed show and he sold six works at the opening. Mark gave notice at the grammar school soon after.
Mark’s subsequent rise to prominence in the art world is gratifying to those of us who admire that increasingly rare talent of good draughtsmanship. He now holds an annual solo exhibition with Panter &Hall in the West End and is a principal artist at every art fair we attend, his international reputation is also flourishing and he now has representation with a leading art dealer in Japan.