Mark Soltero

Visual Artist

Mark Soltero is an artist living and working in Ōtautahi, Christchurch.

Mark’s work is situated in reference to his personal history and the cultural and political landscape of the Postmodernist period. His practice is built around an intense drawing process. Working with hand-drawn and found images, processed in the computer and scaled, transferred and intricately hand traced and stencilled before paint is applied with squeegees or large brushes. While individual marks may be visible on close viewing, the image is read as a single mark.

In essence my paintings are history paintings that examine relationships between image, memory and materiality. Many of the images border on dissolution, fragmenting or breaking down in contrast to the seemingly smooth images that saturate our lived experience. Rather than making works in which the image might be shocking, I make works that draw audiences in, yet are challenging to look at. To a certain extent, the work explores the experience of Derrida’s concept of différance, in time.

Mark holds an MFA – Dunedin School of Art, a B.Design–Ara Institute of Canterbury and PGDipTchg, Art & Art History–NZGSE. Mark is a member of the Art Associates Aotearoa collective. He was awarded the inaugural Head of School Award for Excellence in Post-Graduate Drawing from the Dunedin School of Art in 2014. He has been a finalist in the National Contemporary Art Awards three times, twice a finalist in the Adam Portraiture Award. Mark has exhibited at the Centre of Contemporary Art (2009, 2018-2019), ArtsPost Waikato Museum (2011), Chambers Art Gallery (2019, 2021, 2023) and Ashburton Art Gallery (2021).

Mark is represented by;

Chambers Art Gallery 
80 Durham Street South, Christchurch – a curated online gallery generating Connection & Cultivation

McAtamney Gallery
40a Talbot Street, Geraldine
At the Magritte Mirror, Surrealism exhibition,
Te Papa, Wellington NZ, 2021 (photograph by Raphael Soltero)

Biography – Publications 

Cinématic Ontologies exhibition catalogue, limited edition of 35, text by Reah Somerville, self-published, March 2023

Ashburton Art Gallery Foyer Wall Commission catalogue, text by Reah Somerville, with signed limited edition print, April 2021

A Stone to Strike and a Rock to Stumble Over
, exhibition catalogue, limited edition of 200, published by Ashburton Art Gallery, Christchurch, April 2021

The Associates at Ashburton Art Gallery, text by Andrew Paul Wood, Artbeat Issue 30, July 2021

Mark Soltero installs Cinema of the Rorschach – Foyer of the Ashburton Art Gallery, text by Reah Somerville, Artbeat Issue 28, May 2021

Mark Soltero, The Projection Room, text by Dr Warren Feeney, Artbeat, September, 2019

Speaker of the Month, Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetū, February, 2019

Associated, exhibition catalogue, published by CoCA, Christchurch, December 2018

RNZ Interview with Jesse Mulligan – Tell Me About Your Thesis, October, 2017

Preview, exhibition catalogue, published by CoCA, Christchurch, August 2009