Dissecting Visual Art with featured Maker, Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder is a visual artist whose work investigates themes of danger and masculinity. Frequently Snyder dissects icons from the world of auto-racing, such as sports cars and dragsters, and reconstructs them into sculptural objects that challenge our understanding of the machine, its inner workings, and its effects on the social psyche.

I try to gain a better grasp of a larger picture by surveying the smaller parts that make it up. I dismantle a problem, investigating the individual bits. Then I reassemble the fragments, creating a new state that is at once the whole and yet different from it. This investigative process is often revealed in the works through markings, malformations, and distortions, indicating the areas searched, exposing the hidden, and discarding the preconceived.

By dissecting tangible elements, such as an engine itself, Snyder probes our understanding of the cultural norms surrounding such icons and experiences.

Questions of masculinity and the automobile serve as the basis for much of my current work. I am investigating the inner beauty of both, that often coincides with violence and death. While much of the world can exist in a placid state of station-wagons and minivans, there is a portion of society that must challenge the norm with violent, dangerous actions that are often associated with sports cars, dragsters, and auto-racing. Brute strength is measured by its ability to challenge death and survive. Cunningness, meanwhile, is the intricate play that plans and evaluates how far things can go before losing all. These are just two traits usually associated with masculinity that must be challenged over and over again to re-assure their worthiness; the car being a vehicle of such expression. Through drawing I am tearing into the automobile, examining the inner workings. I study them, as though knowing this secret realm will give me dominance over it and death.

Mark Snyder lives and works in Buffalo, NY. His solo exhibition entitled Auto-Cannibalism opened January 22nd at Buffalo Arts Studio. Be sure to check him out at the Buffalo Mini Maker Faire on May 7th!

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