A few weeks ago, I came across Mark Lovejoy‘s work on But Does It Float. The caption above the artwork informed me that I was looking at “photographs of printing press inks,” but I still couldn’t quite piece together exactly how these images came to be. Lovejoy’s imagery is full of vibrant, impossibly complex combinations of color. The inks seem to form a pattern, yet there’s no ostensible organization whatsoever. Whatever movements caused these collisions of color feels like it’s been preserved, permanently, almost as if the whole image is still in motion.
When I got in touch with Mark, he was more than happy to share some insight on his process. Mark is a prolific visual communicator who’s not afraid of experimentation. Mixing and manipulating inks, Lovejoy uses a variety of tools and techniques, allowing colors to ooze into one another both through both deliberate action and random, uncontrolled motion. After, he shoots them point blank, and the results are spectacular: dizzy psychedelic layers, marbled color, and three-dimensional shapes that rise up off the page.
But aside from the ins and outs of production, Mark also shared some insight about the philosophical dimensions of his work, and the ideas that inform that process. I’ve included most of what he told me at length, which basically amounts to a kind of artist’s statement. But as specific as it is to his work, Lovejoy’s discussion also opens up a conversation about abstraction in general, where it can take us, and even what it can tell us about ourselves.