Mark Dean Veca
Pony Show, 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Pony Show puts the Cult in car-culture. Mark Dean Veca’s monumental mural installation is a shrine to the American Car, particularly those that rolled out of Detroit in the 1960’s like Veca’s first car the Ford Mustang (which sparked a new denomination, the Pony Car). Painted in Carbon Black, Candy Apple Red, and Glorious Gold on the exterior of a former auto repair shop, it’s roll-up doors are emblazoned with the cruciform Mustang logo and framed by Pop-Baroque ornamentation– a pyschedelic synthesis of Gianlorenzo Bernini and Rick Griffin. At once celebrating and criticizing our fanatical devotion to the automobile, Pony Show is a schismatic spectacle of epic proportions.
Pony Show es un homenaje a la cultura del automóvil. La instalación donde se encuentra el monumental mural de Mark Dean Veca es un altar al Automóvil Norteamericano, especialmente para aquellos que se produjeron en Detroit en la decada de 1960, como el primer carro de Veca, el Ford Mustang (el cual fue el primer carro al que se le refirió como Pony Car).Pintado en Carbon Negro, Rojo Manzana Dulce, y Glorioso Dorado en el exterior de un antiguo taller automotriz, sus puertas corredizas están adornadas con el logotipo cruciforme del Mustang y enmarcado con adornos Pop-Barroco — una síntesis psicodélica de Gianlorenzo Bernini y Rick Griffin. A la vez celebrando nuestra relación fanática con el automóvil y cuestionando su sustentabilidad, Pony Show es un espectáculo cismático de proporciones épicas.
Mark Dean Veca lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated with a BFA from Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles in 1985. Veca has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in both national and international venues including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York City; The Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; and The Drawing Center, New York City. Recent solo exhibitions include: Everlast, Western Project, Los Angeles (2014); Made For You and Me, Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York (2013); Mark Dean Veca: Raging Opulence, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California (2012); and When the Shit Hits the Fan, Western Project, Culver City, California (2010). Recent group exhibitions include: California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2013); Pop Culture: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, California (2012); Visible, Harris Art Gallery, University of La Verne, La Verne, California (2012); and Under the Influence: The Comics, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, New York (2012). He received fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts in 1998, 2002, and 2008, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2006, and a City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Grant in 2011. His work has been reviewed in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, Artforum, Art in America, Art Review, Juxtapoz, and Flash Art.
The story of Mark Dean Veca’s art is fundamentally about forging unlikely unions between experiences that are, if not opposites, certainly oppositional. Over the course of his 30 years making art, he has produced murals, paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, prints, designs and other sundry inventions. Along the way he has experimented with a range of visual styles from the loose and abstract to the obsessive and meticulous; mastering the power of the confident line, and discovering the patience required for meticulous detail and the bravado for a super-saturated palette. And though the scale and scope of his work has expanded toward the operatic, his process has never been more intimate. An omnivorous observer of visual culture equally versed in Mad Magazine and Modernist theory, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and French Regency, R. Crumb and Ed Ruscha, Mark Dean Veca’s art truly is the sum of its paradoxical parts and his particular gift lies in making gorgeous, giddy, glorious sense of those paradoxes.
Shana Nys Dambrot, from the essay “Mark Dean Veca: Life|Drawing” for the artist’s monograph “Mark Dean Veca: Twenty Years”