An American contemporary artist, Marc Dennis is best known for his hyper-realistic paintings of staged and slightly voyeuristic images of contemporary American culture, including individuals engaged in viewing iconic works of art. Through these works, he celebrates the subversive potential of beauty and sexuality and explores the charged subjects of identity, pleasure and power.
Dennis combines various movements throughout the western art historical canon to create fresh paintings rich with hype and narrative. Combining elements from the Renaissance, Pre-Raphaelites, Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Disney, he sets out to create paintings that are immediate and visceral. These reflect a paradox of dualities–the believable and non-believable, the real and the staged, and the serious and the comical. His compositions often include images that hide within images, engaging his viewers in a game of pop culture and art historical references.
Marc’s artistic inspiration is also drawn from his many adventures and personal experiences, such as his childhood obsession with looking underneath rocks and logs which are translated into scientific renderings of flora and fauna, often rendered in dramatic Baroque light. Highly detailed and inventively imaginative, Dennis’s paintings are imbued with a mysteriously alluring passion.
Featured image: Marc Dennis – Crown, 2017 (detail). Oil on linen. 30 × 34 in. 76.2 × 86.4 cm. This is a unique work. Photo courtesy Galerie Ernst Hilger.