Art & Design blog

Mark Perronet, founder of Atom Gallery

Artist / designer:   Mark Perronet
Article author:   Ricky Thakrar
Published:   Sat, 2 Jan 2016

Fear of the abstract

XETH: Your work spans printmaking, illustration, collage, typography – often in combination. Is there a particular medium or process that you associate yourself with over others?

Mark Perronet: Screen printing is definitely my drug of choice. I did screen printing at college many years ago, moved into photography for a long time, and now I am back to the screen.

I like to follow a process – a blank sheet of paper and a pencil would frighten me a lot.  I like the distances that screen printing brings between me and the paper, and the possibility of happy accidents when I am not trying to print an edition.

When one is printing an edition for someone else, the whole deal is to get every print the same, but when I am working on one of my own things, all that pressure is off, and I can do what I like and mess things up and sometimes it works… although, often it doesn’t, it has to be said!

Cowboy heroes (peacemaker)

XETH: Whilst you often poke fun at the greed or egoism that clouds people’s judgment, there’s a tone of understanding and humility, rather than pointing an accusative finger.  How carefully considered is that balance?

MP: I am basically a cynic, and think that a lot of people with vested interests are screwing everything up for all of us… nothing new there!  But I try not to think too much about things before I do them, or I can overthink and end up not doing anything – I am always a bit sorry when possibly a good idea disappears without doing anything about it.


XETH: You greatly vary the style and technique of your work depending on the format of the image at hand – posters, tattoos, comics, magazine covers… Relatively speaking, which do you feel is most important for you: the message or concept that you want to convey; the visual aesthetic of the individual piece, or; the format that you are reinterpreting?

MP: That’s a good question… I think all three, but probably the visual aesthetic is the most important, because unless it looks good, it’s not going to work on any level. In the past, I have got a certain way with an idea and thought, ‘this is very clever, and a good message, etc.’, but then realised that it was going to look shit – clever or not.

So, it’s nice to get all three working together, although tricky…  But I do think that more art nowadays should be trying to say something, rather than just look pretty.  There, I’ve said it.

Look Kids!

XETH: You chose to open your art gallery and set up studio in Finsbury Park. What was it that drew you to this part of London?

MP: I did my Art Foundation at Middlesex Polytechnic when it was based in Crouch End, and stayed on at the Wood Green site to study Fine Art.  Since then, I’ve always lived in north London – Wood Green, Bounds Green, East Finchley, Islington, and then Finsbury Park.  The printing business was outgrowing what I could do at home, and I noticed the empty shop on Stroud Green Road, just ten minutes from where I live.


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