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I find it rather extraordinary that we commemorate through art important historical events, war heroes, authors and political leaders, yet we rarely commemorate in art what is most important to most of us: our family lives and our children. During the 19th and 20th centuries, depicting children in art was usually relegated to female painters (most notably, Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot) or depicted with unsettling undertones of sexuality, as is the case in Balthus’s controversial paintings.
The figurative painter Mark Lovett commemorates through his beautiful paintings and photographs what matters most to so many of us: our children. Mark Lovett depicts children, particularly girls, during the years (between 3 and 12) when they are old enough to appreciate family activities yet young enough to still enjoy the company of their parents. The subject of family and children is inherently personal, so I will mention one personal note, which is part of the reason why I’m so touched by Mark Lovett’s art. I remember with great fondness the many activities my husband and I did with our children, Alex and Sophie, when they were younger: apple orchards, zoo trips, museums, Renaissance fairs, art camps, cub scouts, hiking and vacations in so many beautiful places around the world. The kids, and their joie de vivre, added enormous pleasure and sense of meaning to our lives.
Because this part of childhood and family life lasts roughly ten years, it’s easy to have the false impression that it will never go away. Yet like everything beautiful in life, it’s ephemeral and it passes. As the children grow up, you can relive your their early years and the joy they brought to your family in your memory, in your heart and, if you’re fortunate, in great artwork like the one created by Mark Lovett.
Mark is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he studied figurative and portrait painting at Nelson Shanks’ Studio Incamminati in Pennsylvania and of The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. As you can probably tell by looking at his realist paintings, Mark finds inspiration in the old masters. He is particularly influenced by the works of Bouguereau, Sargent, Renoir and Monet. He employs many of their techniques, particularly in depicting his subjects in a realistic fashion. Yet ultimately, like all great painters, he has his own unique style.
Mark’s works depict children in an unsentimental fashion that nonetheless evokes the best experiences many of us have of our family lives. His backgrounds tend to use bold strokes, while his figures themselves–the children–are very finely painted, with a delicate touch that captures their individual features and expressions.
As you can see on his website,http://www.marklovettstudio.com/,Mark has won numerous awards including: 2006 Portrait Society of America Children’s Portrait Competition; MD Annual Art Show and 2005 Rockville Art League Art Show Winner. His works have been featured in numerous magazines, including Washington Spaces Magazine 2007 and 2006; Who’s Who of Strathmore Worldwide 2007-2008; Preview Magazine Art Expo, NY 2007; Strathmore Applause Magazine cover 2006; Art Business News Magazine 2006 and 2005. You can view his works primarily in his own studio, MarkLovettStudio, as well as in several galleries in the U.S. and Europe, including the prestigious gallery Galerie Pierre in France (http://about.me/GaleriePierre). Thanks to Mark Lovett’s talent and works, we can commemorate our children’s most fun and memorable years through art, as well as in our lives and fondest memories.
Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com