SOURCE: Painter Marc Dennis

March 26, 2015 13:46 ET

Marc Dennis Featured on Cover of ARTVOICES Magazine

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 26, 2015) - ARTVOICES magazine writer Shana Beth Mason interviewed New York-based artist Marc Dennis for a three-page article in the spring issue of the quarterly arts publication. On the outside, readers are drawn to the glossy cover, which is graced with Dennis' work "Betty, Lawyer, Pony," an oil on linen from 2013 owned by John and Amy Phelan, while on the inside Mason throws light on the hyper-realistic painter whom she describes as "... nothing if not frank and gregarious. He is a dead-ringer for Johnny Depp, a brusque, fast-talking sports fan raised outside Boston (but also lived in Puerto Rico as a child) whose body of work (in paintings, specifically) has become of one contemporary art's most recognizable signatures."

Dennis is known for his strikingly detailed paintings of subtly staged and slightly voyeuristic images of contemporary American culture. Interested in the transformative possibilities of familiar iconic images and tropes adopted from such artists as Velasquez, Manet, and Magritte, Dennis explores the charged subjects of beauty, pleasure, and power. In Ms. Mason's words the artist's large-scale paintings are "staged scenes, where an adult man or woman (dressed in garb that suggests anything but the stereotypical 'art world professional') faces an artwork firmly entrenched in the art historical canon. Dennis' own audience is as much of an interruption into a scene in progress as is the viewer in his painting. But more importantly, the scene is always set at a place where art is enshrined, or as critic Boris Groys would put it, 'falsely sanctified.'"

Ms. Mason, an independent writer and art consultant, has covered such noted art events and art fairs as the colossal Art Basel Miami Beach, and has written articles for Art in America, Whitehot Magazine, Flash Art international, and The Brooklyn Rail. Her assignment for writing about Marc Dennis seems as symbiotic a relationship as there is, noting her ability to find deeper meaning in the artist's works as well as his character. Finding poignant moments in her visit to the artist's Brooklyn studio she writes, "Dennis defies quotidian associations with the solitary, brutish artist. He moves his body, he uses his hands to talk, he professes a shameless love for Transformers, 'and that was before I had kids,' he adds. His proficiency with pop culture is matched, if not exceeded, by his proficiency with elevated culture."

Born in Danvers, Massachusetts, Marc Dennis studied at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he received his B.F.A. before acquiring an M.F.A. from the University of Texas. Today, Dennis works and lives with his family in Brooklyn and has become a staple of the New York art scene.

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