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Mark Messersmith

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

For a number of years, I‘ve had an interest in reaching back to reconnect with an artistic linage of American landscape painting from the late nineteenth century, focusing on a group of painters who came to Florida from the Northeastern United States immediately following the Civil War. Artist such as, Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, Thomas Moran and Winslow Homer to name but a few. Though they looked at this world as artists with some scientific curiosity and concerns, they still managed to view and paint it through the field glasses of dreamy romantics.

Still, even in 2015, powerful birds, vigilant panthers, wary gators, blackwater swamps, old cypress trees, are still managing to survive in Florida and in my paintings, along with back road citrus stands, and careening logging trucks. These paintings are really of a time and place, midways between hope and despair.

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