I was lucky enough to meet & interview accomplished LA-based artist Mark Dean Veca for The Hundreds magazine Vol 02, circa 2010. It was right before a big solo exhibition of his at Western Project in Culver City, and he was also about to release a capsule collection with The Hundreds, reinterpreting their logo mascot in his signature psychedelic swirling crosshatches. I was thrilled to see that Mark would be at POW! WOW! Hawaii 2015, and reached out to get back in touch beforehand. It was incredible watching his mural come to life in Kaka’ako this February – quietly standing in the tropical sun with brush in hand, he knocked out a stunning black & white wall in what seemed like no time at all. Mark was kind enough to take the time for a quick interview too. Stay tuned for his Hurley capsule later this month!
Where are you today? I’m at my home/studio in Altdadena, CA, today.
What are you doing? I’m working on a couple of private commissions at the moment.
What was your introduction to art? I was introduced to art through comics and cartoons and illustration.
Are you self-taught or formally educated? Both. I did get a BFA from Otis Art Institute in L.A., though.
When did you decide to make a career of it? I’ve considered myself an artist since the second grade, but wasn’t able to do full-time until I was about 40.
You reference pop culture & classic cartoons in your work lately – what’s the thinking behind that? It’s what I find most interesting, and it’s a way of making work that can be personal as well as universal.
Does living & working in LA relate closely to your work at all? Not really. Although growing up in the Bay Area in the 70’s definitely influenced my work.
Has your work taken you to any interesting places or countries? For sure. Tokyo, London, Guadalajara, Buenos Aires, Paris, Hawaii…
Nice! Have you had any projects you’re particularly proud of? One of the more recent ones was “Pete’s Place”, 2013, at the Orange County Museum of Art.
Got any future exhibitions or projects coming up you want to mention?
No big shows in the very near future, but I do have a capsule with Hurley dropping late-April. Boardshorts, Tees, and Caps.