The New York designer on his inspirations
What inspired your ‘bite’ cutlery?
Although my work is normally high-spirited and vivid, which is a direct reflection of my personality, “Bite” was created during a time where I was feeling particularly despondent. I was simply frustrated with the unfairness of life. Millions of people are overeating and millions more are dying of starvation. I wanted to create a piece that highlighted this disturbing dichotomy
How did you come to be involved in design, is it something you grew up wanting to do?
I grew up wanting to be Super Man. Unfortunately during my senior year in high school I was forced to put away the cape and choose an occupation that was a bit more realistic. Since I was planning on being Super Man for the previous 17 years I was at a loss for direction. It was at that point that my art professor said, “Mark, you realize that you can be an artist and get paid for it don’t you?” I didn’t know that. But when I heard those words my life had changed. My childhood hobby became my life’s passion.
You do lots of public art – what kind of challenges does this pose?
There are too many challenges to list. However, it is the challenges that makes public art the most satisfying creations to complete
What project are you most proud of?
I am most proud of an installation I did at the Cleveland Museum of Art for their Summer Solstice event in collaboration with Cleveland Public Art. Comprised of nearly 100 eight-foot weather balloons, a dozen 22-foot steel poles, and rope, “White Cloud” was a soft, organic complement to the symmetrical grandness of the Museum. It was my largest installation and not only required months of planning but also a lot of luck. Unfortunately, we were short on luck. After two weeks of installation we were forced to remove the piece the morning of the event because of weather conditions. 5 people saw the completed installation instead of the 5,000 people that attended the event. Yet, it was the most beautiful piece I have ever created.
Have you any plans to come over to HK?
Unfortunately, I have not been to Hong Kong. However, I have plans to come early 2011 and will be creating dozens of temporary public art installations throughout the city. So keep your eyes peeled!
Where do you live and how would you describe your house?
I live in Brooklyn New York in a 12,000 sq. ft. loft space in an old tea factory. I built the space from the floor up. I would describe it as simple and functional. I haven’t left in about 11 days. It’s perfect.