Marc Dennis - Devotion in the Time of Corona
Written by Vitroria Benzine
Marc Dennis works in an alchemy of art history and modernity. Armed with one brush and one palette, this Brooklyn-based artist combines elements from the Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelites with democratic imagery culled from pop culture, common to the surface levels of our collective consciousness.
Above: Marc Dennis, “The Joy of Painting,” 2021 , oil on linen, 48” x 60”
Dennis grounds these pilfered references in pure technical virtuosity – hyperrealism so startling it takes effort to accept these are paintings and not photos. The synthesis yields a style distinctly Dennis’ alone – subversive, sexual, and sumptuous all at once.
“Love in the Time of Corona”, 2021 Oil on linen, 60” x 74”
To cope with the chaos and fear, Dennis found comfort transcribing every single text he received from his loved ones, friends, collectors and strangers alike throughout isolation. The eponymous painting, Love in the Time of Corona, pulls from hundreds of such messages to cull a selection equal parts silly, smart, clever, absurd, and funny. The text messages included throughout this piece and others offer a well-rounded cross-section of comments related to the pandemic, the art world, Dennis’ own practice, and his life in general.