Marc Dennis, Dragonslayer, 2011
Painter Marc Dennis has a cheeky meta-style often incorporating famous works of art into his hyper-realistic paintings. He has one that features a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader viewing a Picasso, and another where a museum-goer’s head blocks the vulva in Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. Dennis also likes iconographic figures like rappers or say, the Incredible Hulk, and his paintings tend to be a blend of modern pop and recognizable art world imagery. It can be a little heavy-handed at times, but the stuff in his Honey Bunny show—which takes its name from a Jeff Koons balloon bunny reproduction trinket featured in some of the paintings—is a bit more subtle and intriguing.
Dennis goes hard for contrast—kittens and guns, a fluffy dog and raw meat—favoring firearms with desserts or cute things to convey strangely masculine still lifes and pet portraiture. Dennis views his work as a sort of statement on paternity, saying in a live gallery interview:
The body of paintings that are represented in this exhibition have to do with one, my being an American male, a husband, a daddy—but most importantly a parent and the whole notion of being the dragon-slayer, the ultimate protector of my family. Hence the guns, the meat, the carcasses, the death, fragility.
The work is pretty macho for sure, but it has a sense of humor about itself, and the paintings themselves have a lushness and mystery that draws the eye.
Marc Dennis, Biggy Kitty, 2011
Marc Dennis, Divine Love, 2011
Marc Dennis, American Woman, 2011
Marc Dennis, Bedtime, 2011
Marc Dennis, Tiny One, 2011
Marc Dennis, Teatime, 2011
Marc Dennis, I Love You Too, 2011
Marc Dennis, I Love You—You Love Me, 2011
Marc Dennis, Honey Bunny, 2010
Marc Dennis, Little Ways, 2011
Via The Morning News