Photo of Mark Ottens

Mark Ottens

Oostburg, WI, United States

I was once an image-based painter. About 8 years ago I abandoned the image and the multitude of crazy characters I had been struggling with for so many years. I have been making abstract paintings since. I used to draw and write, almost obsessively, but lost that, too, quite some time before I gave up on the image. 20 years ago, I helped an artist move out of Chicago. As payment, he gave me a beer, some Mexican food, and a very large roll of heavy weight paper. That blank roll has traveled around with me to many different addresses. On New Year's Day, 2013, I hauled it out of a closet and rolled a bit of it out on my studio floor. The imagery came back to me, and with a fine-tipped pen, on my hands and knees, I started again on drawing. I received my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and my MFA from UIC. Some of my influences: abandoned buildings, things in poor repair, old signage, early advertising characters, postcards, dive bars, and hobo culture.

Mark's ArtPrize Entries

These are Mark's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of A Torrent Released from an Arm on South Division Avenue, 1988

    A Torrent Released from an Arm on South Division Avenue, 1988

    2013 ArtPrize Entry Mark Ottens
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