On May 7, 2022 in West Hollywood, Melrose Avenue had quite the crowd gathered. That evening marked the long-awaited Solo Exhibition of painter Marko Ristic at ALLGORITHIM, owned and operated by Artist & Gallerist Tyler Santangelo. LA’s finest were in attendance, including Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Toby Maguire & Jacob Elordi. These heavy-hitters were accompanied by an array of curators, collectors, and the young painter himself, along with gallerist peers. The event showcased Marko’s large-scale figurative paintings that captured the audience through their colorful tales.
His art holds an inherent mystique that induces overwhelming emotion in its viewers; in part due to scale but mainly attributable to the execution of Marko’s takes on emotions such as chaos and love, which are boldly reflected in the piece.
A Violent Display of Affection.
Marko's paintings captivated the guests, who sauntered in and around the main floor exhibition to the back garden of the gallery. The environment conveyed an exquisite blend of atmospheric fluidity, melding conversation with art. Music was provided by The Strokes. In that intimate setting, the NYC based painter shared his innermost feelings about the works.
“I find it difficult to define my works with certainty. There is oftentimes a hesitation to name my works; forget about intricate descriptions. We change on an instantaneous basis, and my comprehension of what I have created with my own hands within this medium cannot be rigidly defined with certainty. There is a performance of the unconscious that takes place while painting that is undefinable.”
How did this night come to be?
It began when Marko and Tyler met in Los Angeles only a few months ago. The two got together through a mutual friend and instantly had a connection.
As Tyler recounts: “Once I saw his work, I knew I wanted to do a show with him. He pulled up a couple images on his phone of some new paintings he was working on. The first thing that caught my eye was the way he plays color palettes off his subjects, and the fact that he does it so well. Personally, I think figurative abstraction is something that many painters attempt and execute sloppily; it’s so easy to mess up. You can have the perfect balance and then boom! one stroke and you have to completely start over. It’s like he knows exactly when to finish, which ironically leaves the works adopting an unfinished look, my favorite part about them. Four days prior to the show, we came to install, and I watched Marko re-stretch this one painting at least five times, something that is not easy or fun to do. The dedication he has to his craft is wholesome and real, something I deeply admire about him as a painter. His paintings make coming in for appointments even more sweet for me, knowing I have these masterpieces on the wall. This was a monumental moment for everyone, especially Marko."
When prompted with questions of his work, Marko replies:
“This is merely an attempt at replicating my own chaos.” A veracious statement, no? As Marko poetically puts it: “Is there a capability of achieving peace? Through brutality, carnage, disaster and love begins to develop. The beauty of insincerity. With perfection or “peace” we would simply achieve stagnation.”
Recognizing this and beginning to disavow the things you have lost by the cause of your own hands, develops a sense of determination to grow from the hurt you have bestowed upon yourself and others and ultimately the world we live in. Inevitably, we are faced with processing the chaos that exists amongst us.”
Regarding another question about his work:
“The common scale of my canvas is unquestionably a host to my emotions, the large-size human forms, the heavy use of oil, the excess of canvas draping from the stretcher bars. I am processing and therefore developing through the inescapable feelings that exist within and amongst us. They are felt and consumed, possibly understood but oftentimes not fully. When the end of the journal entry comes, I know when to stop writing, it’s the same way I know when to stop painting. I find the incapability to achieve wholesome togetherness--fullness--to be beautifully disastrous. I think it relates.”
“Collin and I shot these images several weeks prior to my first solo exhibition.
He is obviously flawless with a camera. But more than that, he is a friend. A mentor. A poet and a gentleman.
We discussed all things regarding painting, art, and the desire to honor and replicate the ways of those who created us.
Ultimately, we sifted through the subject of “vying for life.” Distinctly different than competing for sport or acclaim, it is a desire to compete solely with oneself. To survive, as gracefully as possible, the mundane everyday tasks that may seem trivial but can mushroom into massive obstacles.
By selectively removing ourselves from relationships, friendships, and environments too densely populated, we can actively seek the solitude borne of confinement. Only then can we convince ourselves to exist with what we have created for a bit longer than today.”