Born in 1976, John-Mark Gleadow had already achieved gallery representation by the time he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1999. Renowned for his skill as a draftsman and ability for creating hyperrealstic oil paintings, he has gone on to garner various awards, solo shows and grants and has been met with commercial success in the numerous galleries carrying his work from coast to coast in the United States and beyond.
Early influences on the young artist were Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali and Ver Meer. “I fell in love with the beauty of their imagery and have always been in awe of their amazing gift for depicting reality, or their version of it. My desire is that my abilities would be used for creating works that are beautiful and which convince the viewer that not only what they’re seeing is real but that there’s truth in it. For that reason I find simple photorealism a somewhat unsatisfying undertaking. My compositions should be saying something and their theme speaking to the viewer.”
Beginning with still lives, John-Mark’s paintings soon came to have portraiture as their backbone. With his mastery of the medium his trademark use of vibrant colors has come to the fore – an element of his work made the more amazing due to his having to cope with his own colorblindness. In his widely collected Bibliotheque Series, which he began in 2006 and for which he has become well known, he has combined creating paintings of book spines with his love of doing portraiture and this has allowed him to broaden the thematic possibilities of his paintings. “One of the wonderful things about this series is how limitless the subject matter is and how it makes for a logical way of juxtaposing different subjects, producing a work of art that’s beautiful as a whole, not just aesthetically, but thematically as well.”