Mark LaguŽ has developed an international reputation because of his ability to capture the energy and spirit of downtown. Viewers are captivated by the exciting brush strokes LaguŽ uses to depict reflections of city lights at night or of wet pavement on a rainy day. It is hard to believe that in earlier years, LaguŽ painted in a highly detailed, ultra realistic style. After years of painting background designs at a major animation studio and much experimentation, LaguŽ ultimately developed his characteristic bold brush stroke.
New York, Rome, San Francisco and London are some of LaguŽ's favorite urban settings to paint, however, he admits that "the place is secondary to the designs" he sees while he is there. LaguŽ has always enjoyed drawing and figurative art and cityscapes and sidewalks seem to have the best of both worlds. LaguŽ's canvases and panels remain painterly no matter what the subject matter.
What keeps him excited about painting these scenes is his endless quest to simplify and get to the essence of whatever he paints. There is something fascinating about the way light hits certain architecture. LaguŽ uses blunt, painterly brush strokes and some palette-knife work with patches of color on his heavily layered painted canvases and panels to convey the illusion of detail. Oil paints are his ideal medium.
The scenes LaguŽ depictsĖtaxicabs, diners at an outdoor cafť, people waiting for a busĖspeak simply yet powerfully about big city life. "It is very important for me to spend enough time in a city to really get the feel of the place before I start a painting. You have to be right in the middle of Times Square to know just how frantic it really is. I think this direct, firsthand experience comes through in a painting."
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