From OVER THE INFLUENCE
Over the Influence is a contemporary art gallery that was established in Hong Kong in 2015 and expanded to Los Angeles in 2018.
Over the Influence Bangkok opened in November 2021. The Paris gallery space will open in early 2022, commemorating OTI’s artistic leadership in four global locations. The gallery’s artists assess contemporary expression while pioneering a new creative voice in their own artistic activities. OTI is committed to showcasing artists that question established approaches to studio practice and delivers a vibrant program that examines the convergence of contemporary art, architecture, design, music, fashion, and other forms of visual expression.
“Close My Eyes”
Close My Eyes, a solo exhibition of new paintings, sculptures, and wall works by LA-based artist Mark Whalen, is on view at Over the Influence in Bangkok. The artist’s third exhibition at the gallery and his first in Southeast Asia.
Close My Eyes shows Whalen’s well-known graphic sculptures — human-like heads and hands that are frequently juxtaposed with everyday things to investigate the uncanny relationships between object and person. Whalen has always been drawn to the figure and uses it to advance his practice theoretically and aesthetically. Whalen broadens his technique for this exhibition to include painting and wall works; despite their varied media, the artworks remain cohesive in that they all feature a sculptural aspect, preserve the figure, and are purposefully ambiguous.
Artist Whalen’s maquettes are born in the digital realm — without gender, physical body, or any other attributes aside from their neutrality and fluidity. The figures become animated to instill laughter, surprise, cynicism, or indolence as well as fears like loneliness, isolation, and helplessness. The seamlessness with Which Whalen oscillates between digital and physical realms to create a body of works that conflates notions of these realms with materials and concepts that both instill materiality’ into an otherwise analog space, while animating the analog in a physical space. Cleverly, many of the artworks in Close My Eyes, are depicted with their eyelids closed – asleep, caught in a blink, or another state entirely.
Mark Whalen’s work combines common subjects with industrial materials, found artifacts, and studio supplies. Whalen extends the tale into vivid portrayals of life’s folly by forming relationships with recognizable human forms, color, and chromed objects. The sculptural narrative is revealed as a jumble of disruptions, conundrums, and amusing concerns about life and the hereafter. Mark Whalen’s modern work pushes the frontiers of architecture for interior and environmental applications.
Whalen, who was born in 1982 in Sydney, Australia, earned a certificate in graphic design from Martin College in Sydney.
Whalen has exhibited in galleries around the world since 2006, including shows at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2018, the RMIT School of Art in Melbourne in 2013, the National Gallery of Australia in 2010-2011, the Penrith Regional Gallery in Australia in 2010, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Macro in Rome in 2009. Artbank, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Mainland Art Fund own his work.
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