Curated Contemporary Art Since 2005
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Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England)

Mark developed an interest in art at an early age and spent much of his childhood drawing obsessively. After completing three bachelor degrees—Fine Arts (Painting), Science (Physiology), and Arts (Linguistics)— at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Paris to continue studying art in some of the world’s greatest museums. After some time, he returned to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at McGill University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Ottawa, where he worked on behalf of the Canadian Department of Defence for several years before returning to his first love: painting.

Since moving to Toronto in early 2015, Mark has been featured by the Toronto Star and the CBC for his artistic achievements, and granted the Emerging Artist Award by the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Mark currently lives and works in Toronto.  

Artist Statement

My paintings are visual works of fiction: I create a narrative using shape, colour, and characters. I carefully consider the chromatic and spatial relationships in my paintings to achieve movement and balance, just as an author uses literary devices to advance the plot. In some of my paintings, I use silhouettes as metaphors for our dual nature: our public persona versus our private selves, the overt versus that which lies beneath or remains unspoken. I then overlay abstract elements, such as colour blocks and lines, and switch from a photorealistic to a more painterly style to further enrich the narrative. I invite viewers to bring their personal experiences to the stories that I have painted, to connect with the characters, and to imagine and reimagine new narratives.