As a child according to the family, all Mark DeMaio ever did was draw, and draw and draw. There was never a pen, or a piece of paper to be found in the DeMaio house, if Mark saw a pen or a pencil he’d take it. Those were the first signs of a lifelong obsession with office supplies. Ask him today about his favorite times of the year and he’ll always tell you that back-to-school is one of his very favorites, when the stores are over flowing with new pens, pencils, notebooks and binders. In Mark’s life there was never a career choice to be made, the universe made it for him. Sounds dramatic but it’s true. Mark always knew what he had and what he wanted to do.
    DeMaio escaped high school, having suffered through the gross inadequacies of the Auburn, NY school system, an educational system so devoid of any significant interest in the arts that it's laughable. A system whose only focus is it’s various athletic teams…welcome to Auburn. Mark managed to graduate in large part with the help of his very talented Art teacher,Tom Champion. At 17 Mark DeMaio left the horrors of his hometown and moved to Pittsburgh where he studied graphic design at The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh and fine arts and painting at Carnegie Mellon University (because “ANDY” went there).
    After graduating, DeMaio fulfilled a life long dream and moved to New York City where he lives and works. During the course of his career Mark has participated in several major group exhibitions, including The Super Wow Show at Kenny Sharf’s Cosmic Cavern, Bushwick Art Night and To Japan With Love at the Munch Gallery.
    When it comes to showing, Mark is all about the spectacle, and has staged several wildly successful solo shows. His infamous openings are not to be missed and usually run far past the usual two hours allotted to ‘more traditional’ openings, so attendees may be accommodated. These themed openings are synched perfectly to play off of the works being shown. Although there are far too many to list, the most memorable of late include The Practise Of Injury In Private-2007, Absurd Notions-2009, Pop Goes The Bible-2011, I Walk The Line-2013, and the most recent show, Priests, Stilts, Clowns & Freaks. Over the last couple of decades DeMaio has successfully been selling work to collectors here, across Europe and Asia.
    After being represented by Synchronicity Fine Art for several years DeMaio is proud to have found a kindred spirit in Mr. Kevin Wilson the Director of the world renowned Sacred Gallery NYC at 424 Broadway in New York’s historic art capitol, Soho.
Knowing that it’s important to give back, for the past several years Mark has generously donated his time and work to many charitable causes, most notably to trailblazers.org where he has also helped coordinate donations by other artists for this great organization.
    Mark’s next show will be another departure for the artist. The new works will call on all elements of DeMaio’s career, not only as a painter, but these works will directly draw from his time spent as a producer/director of adult films, and creative director for several major men’s entertainment magazines. Mark will be exploring different mediums and he has promised a break from oils!
    Mark hasn’t lost his taste for graphic design either. He has art directed and designed many covers for international “Metal” band MANOWAR. He has also designed and marketed the sought after Bitchy Clown T-Shirt line, hand screening the custom ordered shirts, as well as directing the Sugar Rump Fairies video for Superstar Everett Bradley. DeMaio was also the Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director of the print version of SoHo Journal, focusing on life, art and politics in New York City with an obvious focus on the SoHo section of NYC.
  Artists Statement
    There is something very mysterious and seductive about paint. It possesses an elegance and a life all its own. The way it moves, the way it can be manipulated, the brilliance of its colors. There is something magical about a new tube of paint, as that first drop of oil that spills out and precedes the color. It grants an artist the power to capture the widest range of thought and emotion through the spectrum of color. I have been hooked since I graduated from crayons, to color pencils, markers, water colors and onto the most perfect of all mediums, oil paint.

    For me life as a painter, isn’t a career, or a choice, it is simply what I do, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I have done things to support myself while I paint. These jobs always utilized my creativity in one way or another, but they were all a means to an end that allow me to paint. I am at a point in my career where I am lucky enough to be able to support myself through sales of my work. There are good times and bad but I am never selfish enough not to appreciate the extraordinary life I’m able to lead. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how one perceives it, I have yet to finish a canvas that I can look at and honestly say to myself, this is the one I’m happy with, because I feel as though I’m never going to be done trying to grow. My quest to marry the perfect technique, that perfect use of the paint with the perfect image is one that I will work towards until I can no longer hold a brush. I have done works where I love how I painted, and I’ve done works where I love the narrative but I have yet to achieve a balance I can live with. This not to imply that my work isn’t good, thats all far too subjective, it is good but I don’t know if on a personal level I’ll ever be happy.

    I study the masters from many schools/movements. The romantics, impressionists, the expressionists, abstract expressionists, modern painters, pop artists. I learn form each of them as I constantly challenge myself to explore the use of color, texture and imagery. Learning as much as I can about these techniques constantly opens new and unexplored territories for me to explore.

    The journey I am on with my work is to create paintings that are an homage’ to great painters and their works, while juxtaposing modern iconography into the paintings. In my paintings I reference modern iconic images, that are transfixed in our minds, and incorporate them with other well know images to create a whole new experience. It becomes a trick to the eye, and mind, where the viewer believes they are looking at something that they are completely familiar with until it registers and their traditional understanding of the image changes. I want them to re-examine and reassess what they thought was known, thus allowing them to address and accept the re-imagined work.

    As of late, my efforts focus on a much more personal level of painting. I am focusing on the application of paint as opposed to the narrative of the work. Although the narrative story of each painting will become obvious, it is through the blending of different techniques on each canvas that I am attempting to change the discourse. An example of this is the lush realistic background that contains a one-dimensional cartoon cutout. The images will still be mine, that’s unavoidable but I am growing and expanding as a painter, trying to force myself out of a comfort zone and explore new techniques. As an artist I don’t believe we can sit still and continue to paint the same things the same way over and over, everything becomes too stagnant. If I’m not learning and trying to better express myself through color and texture then I’d rather quit all together. I have now committed myself to working in watercolors. After my exhaustive, frustrating and throughly satisfying experiments with Encaustics, I am now challenging myself to master the art and techniques of watercolor.
    I LOVE work done in this medium, if its great. Most watercolorists are mediocre at best and depend on a lot of gimmicks and tricks to dress up their sub par painting technique. One of the truly greats, a giant in this medium is an artist from the UK, Mr. David Poxon. David’s work is groundbreaking and devastating to look at. He is so good that he makes me want to give up, which of coarse I won’t. I’ll work my ass off until I get it right. I want my next show to be watercolors but if I’m not happy with the quality of the work, meaning the technique and mastering the medium then…they’ll be no show. I have sworn off oil’s for a year and will be devoting myself full time to this quest. Why try and learn something if you’re not going to start from square one, get back to basics and go from there?
    This is how I feel about art. I’m blessed to be in the position I am in. I know how lucky I am and it would be wrong to show and sell work for the sake of showing and selling work. If I am not going to believe in what I am doing how can I expect people to part with their hard earned money to buy it?