After a great chat with Mark Zubrovich on the Juxtapoz IG live session last year, we are excited to see his new solo show, Myths of the Dog-Man, at Richard Heller Gallery. 

“I’m a painter making work that explores the space between self and other. Specifically, human and doggie. My painting language pulls from both art history and queer subculture, especially influenced by the corners of the Internet I have inhabited where one can take on a fantasy persona. My form of choice is the anthropomorphic canine, a figure I’ve recognized throughout history as a symbol of otherness, filth, and the foreign unknown. And thus, a perfect vehicle for exploring the joys and idiosyncrasies of possessing a queer body.
“This current body of work is a reflection of the malleability of that figure both as an avatar and as a gestural form. These works pull directly from all corners of our visual culture; from Flemish baroque and English court painting via Rubens and Edwin Landseer, to erotic furry art and Sesame Street branded t-shirts. In these paintings the dog-man figure is capable of shapeshifting radically from piece to piece. From animate to object, from humanlike to near feral, from illusionistic render to gestural smear. This is also reflected in the diversity of paint handling, and the alternation of both smooth canvas and toothy burlap as base surfaces. 
“Some of these works are explicitly self-portraiture, featuring both my literal likeness as well as BRUCE, the wild eyed cobalt blue dog-form (or “furson”) I have made for myself. Some are more implicit, touching on both the trauma and euphoria I’ve experienced while possessing this queer body of mine. The actions of smelling and biting recur consistently in the work. They’re something we have in common with each other, two extremes of doggie-human communication. Sniffing in particular also holds political and personal weight, due to COVID permanently damaging my sense of smell. My doggies, however, have no such issue.” —Mark Zubrovich

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