About the Artist

/About the Artist
About the Artist 2022-03-10T00:05:16-06:00
An Oil painting of John Markese done in Chicago, Illinois

Self-Portrait, Oil on Wood Panel

John Markese is a Chicago area artist that specializes in figurative art and portraiture in a variety of mediums, but most notably oil and acrylic paints and pastels. His style is spontaneous, filled with lively brushwork and agile mark making. The palette John uses punctuates these qualities in his marks and juxtaposes unusual hues to visually describe the human form in interesting ways. He mainly paints from live models and utilizes the time constraints of painting from life to emphasize the intensity of his style.

His acrylic and pastel paintings feature human figures whose bodies are boldly decorated with hot pink, bright red, emerald green, or light blue brush strokes that conflict with how the light is reflecting off the contours. John’s paintings incorporate inspiration from visceral interpretation of perceptions, and almost subconsciously utilize Gestalt principles to group individual marks and hues into a greater object. Stylistically, subjects are painted in a loose and spontaneous style that eschews blended gradients in favor of lively and expressive marks. Many of the paintings have wash backgrounds that create an undefined or even undulating sense of space. Some figures may have an aura that defines the figure from the ground, but often becomes an object unto itself.

John was born and raised in the Chicago area, and spent much of his youth in Palatine, Illinois where he still resides. He has been studying art since he was a young child and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in 2001.


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    Artist Resume

    Education

    2001 : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign : Bachelor of Fine Arts

    Solo Exhibitions

    2010 Jun : Face to Face : SmArt Gallery : Chicago, Illinois

    Group Exhibitions

    2014 Jun : Northwest Pastel Society 28th Annual International Open Exhibit : Tacoma, Washington
    2014 May : Great Lakes Pastel Society 2014 National Exhibit : Traverse City, Michigan
    2014 Feb : Visual Arts Center National Art Exhibition 2014 : Punta Gorda, Florida
    2014 Feb : The Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists Faces of Winter : Stamford, Connecticut
    2014 Feb : The Pastel Society of Southeast Texas Art of the Pastel 2014 : Clute, Texas
    2013 Nov : Chicago Pastel Painters’ 4th Biennial National Juried Exhibition : Highland Park, Illinois
    2013 Nov : 32nd Pastel Society of the Southwest National Juried Show : Grapevine, Texas
    2013 Oct : Starline Gallery Grand Finale Masquerade : Harvard, Illinois
    2013 Nov : Chicago Pastel Painters’ 4th Biennial National Juried Exhibition : Highland Park, Illinois
    2013 Nov : 32nd Pastel Society of the Southwest National Juried Show : Grapevine, Texas
    2013 Oct : Starline Gallery Grand Finale Masquerade : Harvard, Illinois
    2011 Sep : Coyote Arts Festival 2011 : Flat Iron Arts Building : Chicago, Illinois
    2011 Jul : Gwanghwamun International Art Festival (GIAF) : Seoul, South Korea
    2011 Feb : Now You See it, Now You Don’t : Flat Iron Arts Building : Chicago, Illinois
    2010 Sep : Art in the Barn : Good Shepherd Hospital : Barrington, Illinois
    2010 Sep : Beyond the Coyote : Flat Iron Arts Building : Chicago, Illinois
    2010 May : Gilda’s Club Gala : Flat Iron Arts Building : Chicago, Illinois
    2010 Apr : TheArtTrade : Ugly Stepsister Gallery : Chicago, Illinois
    2010 Apr : Spring Show 2010 : Water Street Studios : Batavia, Illinois
    2010 Mar : 4th Annual Emerging Artists : Morpho Gallery : Chicago, Illinois

    Awards

    2014 : Bronze Medal : Great Lakes Pastel Society 2014 National Exhibit
    2014 : Honorable Mention : The Pastel Society of Southeast Texas Art of the Pastel
    2014 : Award of Excellence : Four Points Contemporary 2nd Bi-annual Competition
    2013 : Portait/Figure Award : 32nd Pastel Society of the Southwest National Juried Show
    2013 : Purchase Award : Chicago Pastel Painters’ 4th Biennial National Juried Exhibition
    2013 : Honorable Mention : Starline Gallery Grand Finale Masquerade
    1996 : University of Illinois Talent Scholarship

    Corporate Collections

    Advanced Group Company : Chicago, Illinois

    Associations

    Pastel Society of America
    Chicago Pastel Painters
    Oil Painters of America