Mark Soltero

Visual Artist
My work is situated in reference to my personal history and the cultural and political landscape of the Postmodernist period.

The late 70’s experienced a revolution in the film industry with a significant impact on the wider visual culture. The etymology of cinéma translates literally as the drawing of movement. Theatres are containers of images and collective memory.

My practice is built around an intense drawing process. Working with hand-drawn and found images, processed in the computer, scaled, transferred and intricately traced or stencilled. Paint is applied with squeegees or over-sized brushes. While individual marks may be visible when viewed closely, the image is read as a single mark.

Larger works on wool and hessian, some over five meters, are suspended out from the wall in such a way as to emphasise the base materiality of the fabric, the paint, the monochrome palette. The process and the labour involved are part of the experience of viewing the work.

In essence my paintings are history paintings, examining 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 digital experience. The work draw audiences in, yet is challenging to look at, presenting a pictorial space that provides a stimulus for audiences to imagine and make associations with visual memories and experiences.

Jacques Derrida’s concept of différance, where meaning is differed/deferred, can be considered in terms of the act of thinking which necessarily involves association, memory, prediction, assumption, anticipation…we literally move between associations. It’s that space of our interior world I’m exploring.
At the Magritte Mirror, Surrealism exhibition,
Te Papa, Wellington NZ, 2021 (photograph by Raphael Soltero)

Artist Résumé