Work / Art

Mark Whalen’s softly-hued artworks are a comment on human nature

Los Angeles-based, Australian-born artist Mark Whalen creates sprawling images of pastel-coloured worlds that look like a cross between folk art and scenes on Ancient Greek pottery. His simply drawn characters meander through brightly patterned landscapes and the interactions between these svelte figures gives his images a great energy.

Through the confectionery hues there’s real complexity behind Mark’s artworks as he explores human nature and our place in the world both on an individual level and as a species as a whole. Many of his works are created using acrylic, ink and gouache on panels but in Bending Dimensions, and Groups of Four Mark uses clay as his canvas. This gives his work a great crinkled texture adding another dimension with the glaze he’s used on top.

We featured his work back in 2012 and while he still uses the same simple characters in limbo-like worlds to convey his narratives, his images feel more refined. They’re detailed but not cluttered and the larger scale of his works allows the viewer to take everything in.


Mark Whalen: Trapezoid


Mark Whalen: Sculpture in Room


Mark Whalen: Colour Lab


Mark Whalen: Signs and Signals


Mark Whalen: Improper Faction


Mark Whalen: Groups of Four


Mark Whalen: 3 Men, One Puzzle


Mark Whalen: Shapes and Forms


Mark Whalen: Bending Dimensions