Themes of consumerism, obsession, satire and idiocracy crop up across Carly Mark’s body of work - sexual innuendo and not-so-subtle allusions are always present. When she is in charge, anything can happen. Her playful imagery may seem like an unrealistically driven narrative, but the truth is, her work is a manifestation of the current world’s situation and is based on fact. Mark frequently employs various fields of knowledge, including philosophy, science, history, and politics, to reveal the strands our culture is adopting.
On a personal level however, Carly Mark is an NYC based artist who adores her inspiring friends, likes the planet Mars and loves the smell of peppermint. We faced Carly with a set of quotes from people who have or had something interesting to say and asked for her equally interesting opinion in return.
“Each of us is a kind of crossroads where things happen. The crossroads is purely passive; something happens there. A different thing, equally valid, happens elsewhere. There is no choice, it’s just a matter of chance.”
Crossroads are intersection points. Humans are an expanding group of connecting intersection points, like a grid, or a computer network. This makes me think of ‘The Continuous Monument’ by SUPERSTUDIO, or the first time two computers communicated with each other via ARPANET at UCLA. Only our lines aren’t straight or mathematical. Chance dominates our non-linear network and for that we are lucky.
“The difference between the who and the what at the heart of love, separates the heart. It is often said that love is the movement of the heart. Does my heart move because I love someone who is an absolute singularity, or because I love the way that someone is?”
All I can think of is that quote by Carson McCullers: “The heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another’s fire. Driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there’s no sign of love in sight!”
“We’re all products of what we want to project to the world. Even people who don’t spend any time, or think they don’t, on preparing themselves for the world out there. I think that ultimately they have for their whole lives groomed themselves to be a certain way, to present a face to the world.”
- Cindy Sherman
I used to have a Tumblr called ‘Carl Marx’ where I would follow and post things I was really into, but afraid to explore IRL. It was a mix of bondage, cute things, trans porn, etc. Behind my computer I was shy and controlled but I felt very trapped inside myself. Eventually I became, or began to interact with, the things that I had been posting. I evolved into what I was projecting into the world, as if I had been doing research on who I was to be become.
I’ve always been obsessed with snacks. Snacks were the only thing I could mentally handle when I first moved to New York. I had no idea where I was going, what I was do- ing, how to make it in an art world. As an artist, you have to locate yourself, find that thing that grounds your work. Snacks were mine because nothing else made sense to me at the time. Particularly small, rectangle shaped, commercially packaged ones you find in bodegas around the city.
“Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.”
- John Waters
Interview & Words Katja Horvat
Photography Michael Bailey-Gates