Randall's 'After the Election' art on exhibit at Lakewood
Lakewood Center Entryway Gallery will exhibit the art of Lake Oswego resident Mark Randall May 6 through June 10. Randall has been part of the Oegon art community since 2000.
He graduated from University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in art education. He taught photography at West Linn High School and has also worked in picture framing, antique and vintage furniture businesses.
He has exhibited in the open show of Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts since 2005 and won Best in Show in the Festival's open show in 2013. He has exhibited at the Manor of Art, Milepost 5, Grand Marketplace, Wild Shaman and at the CAP Auction. His work has been featured in the IFC show "Portlandia," in the season five episode titled "House for Sale."
"I have made art for a long time," Randall said. "Always looking at the ground I picked up all sorts of scraps and junk that made it to my bulletin board. I cut up LIFE magazine and made collages. Pop culture poured into me. Fast forward to my 50s I decided to go for it. I made bigger art out of oversized Xerox images, found objects and all sorts of 'art' materials, mostly from the hardware aisles. I always tapped into the joy of pop art and Dada. This is most evident in the current collection titled 'After the Election.'"
The "After the Election" collection was created in 2016 and reveals cultural, political and some criminal images from the past. Some of the pieces are reactive and harsh while others are more fun and light.
"Since Donald Trump has been in power he has conjured up images from the last turbulent times of Nixon," Randall says. Randall's images include Tania, or Patty Hearst, granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, American actress and political activist Jane Fonda, political activist Angela Davis, the African American revolutionary party the Black Panthers and The Beatles — the English rock band considered to be the most influential band in history, integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s.
Randall is known for his strong use of the primary and secondary color palette, so red, orange and yellow are natural predominate color choices for this series.
"Since Trump is mostly orange, that is my main color choice," he said.
Influences of artists Joan Miro and Alexander Calder also pop up in his work.
Part of the creation process uses the punched out metal pieces as stencils. The Xerox transparencies give the pieces the feel of slide or cinema film which is another example of the pop culture influence in Randall's art. Spray paint is a main medium found in his work and adds the element of graffiti and street art.
The larger poster designs in the exhibit are an indication that Randall is getting optimistic of future change.
"Revolution is a long process of stops and starts," he says. "Things have to get better or we will just have to turn up the music and dance at the Au Go-Go."
Randall says he "gets the joy of making marks and pushing paint around, but I like to make art about something. I have seen enough landscapes."
The exhibit will hang in the Entryway Gallery at Lakewood Centner for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego until June 10. Learn more about the gallery and upcoming exhibits online at lakewood-center.org.
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