Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Mark Dorf.
Lives in Brooklyn, New York
How do you describe your own art practice?
My creative practice is based in photography, sculpture and digital media currently focusing on ideas surrounding technology, language, and science. I aim to create works that help me to more fully understand my surroundings and the elements that affect the way in which we absorb our everyday experiences.
What was your first experience with art?
I think my first experience with art/creativity was through the piano – I started playing when I was five years old, and from there grew an immense love and interest in music that I still very much have to this day. I expanded my skills to other instruments and of course that led to me playing in bands and participating in the local music scene where I grew up. Through those musical explorations I was naturally led to visual art for obvious reasons and began exploring expression through different mediums, but mostly through photography.
My grandfather and grandmother on my father’s side certainly played a roll as well. My grandfather was a commercial photographer, my grandmother ran an art restoration business in the 1950s and additionally she was a painter. With this in mind, my father of course then always had cameras lying around that he had gotten from his father so I naturally out of curiosity picked them up and started using them. My mother too has a degree in art history, so between all of these elements, my family some how seemed to have made a sort of a perfect stage for their son to become interested in the arts.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Honestly, my greatest sources of inspiration lay outside of the art world. I take inspiration from the ways in which society attempts to define its surroundings and give itself context.
What do you need in order to create your work?
The most important thing that I need in order to create my work is time to write and research. Often before I ever pick up any sort of tool to create something with intention, outside of the casual sketches that I am always producing, I have already written and researched for a very long time on a specific subject. I like to develop a preliminary conceptual and visual language that the works will exist within before embarking on a new body of work. Only after I have these initial elements ironed out, can I begin to refine and let the ideas and aesthetics grow and change through experimentation.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on some new works for an exhibition this Spring at Postmasters Gallery here in NYC that are derivative of the works that I was commissioned to make in Prague, CZ, “Transposition”, this past Fall at the Albertov Botanical Gardens.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
I recently got to catch a screening of Celia Rowlson-Hall’s recent film MA that I thoroughly enjoyed. Despite the film being without dialogue, the choreography fully and clearly communicated intention and narrative. The motions and actions made seemed not to emulate or translate spoken word into motions, but rather Celia was able to create a language that was independent from that of the spoken word.