Artists are allowed to be edgy, in fact, we want them to be. There has to be a story here, we want there to be crisis or anger or distress. In Mark Evan’s case we hope he isn’t too angry and that his tendency to play with knives – and only knives, as he has no interest in other paint brush or pen – is limited to his canvas of choice. Leather. His work is available through London’s Hus Gallery which kindly supplied the images of his work for this post.
Welsh born Mark has created for himself a niche in the art world that his entirely his own. He caves and etches for months on end and brings to the surface the inside of fine leather hides in one of the most remarkable art forms we’ve seen in a long time. Unlike painting or even more traditional three-dimensional sculpture, there is no room for error when he is engraving – once a line is incised, it can never be removed. The final result is sensual, tactile, and primal – his work breathes.
Much of Mark’s work is dark, lots of skulls and death depictions. He grew up in a family where his grandmother had to bury three of her children. Surrounded by death from an early age, Evans uses his work to say something about himself, about his life, and about the mortality of man.
As Mark says of himself: “I don’t do brushes, I can’t paint…I just play with knives”. And as far as we’re concerned that’s all he really needs to be doing.