The word “wilderness” is charged with many distinct layers of meaning and connotation. In his new body of work entitled Wilderness, Mark Gleason gravitates to a Melvillian sense of the word. Wilderness, as metaphor for darkness, hostility, and mystery is the driving force of his nature-inspired paintings. Idiosyncratically delineated compositions, Caravaggian lighting, and biblical undercurrents render Gleason’s pieces as dangerous, or perhaps darkly ethereal. His subjects are dramatic and implicate their viewers into a kind of confrontation or encounter. The raw and hauntingly beautiful wildness of each piece entrances the viewer, stealing them away on a journey of confrontations. Between the animalistic subject matter, the moody atmosphere, and the sensation of dangerous call-to-action, Gleason crafts a pictorial mood that is both ominous and hypnotic – wildly dark and yet sublimely enticing nonetheless.
Mark Gleason was born in 1962 in Greenwich Connecticut. In 1984, he moved to New York to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from Syracuse University. Gleason later moved back to Connecticut where he received a Master of Science in Art Education from the University of Bridgeport in 1989. Gleason has shown his work all over the world with galleries such as Gallery LeLe in Tokyo, Japan, Pence Gallery in Davis, CA, Storpunkt Gallery in Munich, Germany, and Mondo Bizzarro Gallery in Rome, Italy. Mark Gleason now lives and works in San Mateo, CA. This will be Gleason’s fifth solo exhibition with La Luz de Jesus Gallery.