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About Mark Carrara

People ask me why I paint the things I do and what my paintings mean. I don't want to disappoint anyone but there's no profound answer. The truth is that I paint because I find pleasure and satisfaction in creating something from nothing. On some deeper level I suppose that my dad, who made his living as an artist, probably had something to do with it too. How do you grow up with a parent who is a professional artist and not be influenced by art in some way? Not too long ago he gifted me his easel. It has seen better days. It won't stay level. It's missing some pieces. But I love it and I am honored to have it in my studio — even if my studio is my garage.

As to meaning... one reason I love abstract art is because it leaves room for the viewer to interpret it in their own personal way. I wouldn't want to take that from anyone. It's part of the journey of appreciating art. First you see it. Then you feel it. In time you begin to find meaning in it.

I paint the kind of things I do because I’m drawn to things that show their character — worn, tattered, rusted, faded, rough, wrinkled, coarse — the discolored paint on a very old car or a deteriorating weathered wall. I suppose it’s these kinds of visual cues serve as the catalysts for the work I do and why I love to put texture into my work too. Maybe it’s why some have described my work as “vintage.” But there is no direct link between what I paint and some object or image. It’s more of an impression, or an emotion, or just a curiosity about color, texture, or relationships that makes me want to paint.

The thing is I don’t want someone to just look at my work. I really want them to have this urge to touch it, to feel it, even rub their hand over it. Traditionally touching a piece of art has been sort of taboo. So I smile every time someone looks at a piece of my art and just can't resist the urge to rub their hands on it. It's almost as if the simple act of touching it helps them break through some invisible barrier and connect with the piece on a much more personal level. I call it art that makes you feel. My hope is that you will be captivated enough to look and touch so that you might feel something both emotionally and tactually.

Feel free to reach out.

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