Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Between Rock and a Hard Place
October 19 - November 24, 2018
Paintings, like good music, are an art form that one can return to repeatedly. For me they
often play into one another. I’ll take a break from my art, pick up the guitar and out comes
a riff or the beginning of a song. I chase that for a little while and then return to the
painting. It goes back and forth like that through most of the process.
For 30-odd years I fronted several alt/indie rock bands, with varying degrees of success (or
failure depending on my outlook). When I finally threw in the towel in 2010 and devoted
myself to painting I tried to keep as much distance as possible from music as a subject and
it’s taken me awhile to circle back to it with a little more equanimity.
The still life paintings are meditations of my love of the electric guitar as an aesthetic
object which also conjures up all sorts of memories and feelings. The narrative paintings
are a wry reflection on my life as a musician. Drawing inspiration from the Golden Age of
American Illustration (roughly 1880-1930) as well as contemporary classical realists and
Old Masters, these works are an attempt to make some sense out of my past with what I
hope is a universality that you can relate to.
A former political cartoonist, illustrator and songwriter/musician, Mark Giaimo enrolled in
his first oil painting class in 2004. Within two years he was accepted into the Post-
Baccalaureate Graduate Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore,
where he finished a semester before striking out on his own.
His still life paintings of cheap plastic toys and autobiographical narratives, combine the
mundane with the sacred, 19th century painting techniques with contemporary pulp and
graphic illustration, that are both an homage and satire to the past and present.