Born in 1980 in Leeds (UK). Lives and works in Brighton (UK).
From a poor background, Mark Powell began working at the age of 11 to buy food and clothing and to help pay the rent of the family home. After working a number of jobs, he attended the English National University of Huddersfield for three years, studying drawing and painting - he graduated in 2006. On old and/or used paper - envelopes, road maps, subway maps, playing cards, newspaper sheets - the artist draws exclusively with a ballpoint pen (Biro), "the simplest and most readily available". The artist, for whom the portrait is the major exercise, affirms: "The individual is a fascinating thing, of intrigues and scars. I reject a society fed with images of perfection". His subject wants to question our common perception of "acceptable beauty". It is a question here of transcribing less the physical aspect than a presence judged "brightness of the true". This notion of beauty is never to be appreciated according to any aesthetic scale, it is not either to be situated in an idealism, but to be considered in a poetized realism. By its visible restitution of lived truths, it is for Mark Powell a materialized definition of "the beauty of the world". The artist exhibits in the United States, Europe and England.
- Text Anne Richard / HEY! modern art & pop culture (Excerpt from the exhibition catalog HEY! The Drawing, 2022)