The Cheech Wizard
Old characters are old friends to Mark Bodé, and some - like the Cheech Wizard, who dates from 1957 - are practically family. Mark grew up amid the creations of his father, the legendary Vaughn Bodé, and worked on comic strips with him almost from the time he was old enough to hold a pen until Vaughn's tragically early death in 1975 at the age of only 33. Though chastised for daydreaming at school, at home Mark received nothing but encouragement from Vaughn, who found inspiration in his young son's fantasies and wove them into his worlds. The Lizard Men evolved from Mark's childhood drawings, and instead of colouring books, he practiced his shading on the voluptuous Bodé Broads.
Bodé universe expands
The daydreaming kid has grown into a man kept busy bringing those daydreams into reality. His artistic vision finds expression in an increasing variety of fields: illustrating, writing, tattooing, and what he calls his "spraycan art". Mark's graffiti has always been about the characters and their landscapes, and he doesn't think of himself as a 'writer' despite (or perhaps because of) being a friend and contemporary of many graffiti writers including such greats as Dondi, Mare 139, Kel, and Seen. It was these artists who were the first to incorporate Bodé characters into their artwork, and the quirky, charismatic wizards, lizards and women became the most-copied figures in the world of graffiti; each copy a tribute, each character increasing the population of the Bodé universe.
Spraycan street art
Rather than the family name literally fading over time (Vaughn's original works are seldom exhibited, due to their sensitivity to light) it continues to gain strength and renown. Mark has kept his father's famous characters active, and breathed new life into his unfinished projects. Cobalt 60, the tale of a lone wanderer in a post-apocalyptic landscape seeking to avenge the death of his parents, was based on a concept by Vaughn and took Mark and fellow artist Larry Todd ten years to complete. Exhibitions in America, France and most recently Australia, where he showed at the 2012 Contemporary Art Festival in Sydney, have featured his art, and Mark is in great demand as both a solo and collaborative artist for his spraycan art.
ArTicks Gallery presents Da’ Bodé in Amsterdam
On July 20th 2012, Mark Bode visits Amsterdam for a solo show at ArTicks Gallery, the up-and-coming underground contemporary art gallery making a name for itself on the Singel canal (not only due to the exuberant nature of their exhibition openings). Last year ArTicks Gallery exhibited recent works by graffiti giant Steven BLADE Ogburn, a writer so prolific in 70s New York that he was known as the King of Trains. Following the successful and dynamic collaboration work between Mr. Ogburn and renowned local artist Daniel RECAL Oosterman, interest is running high among the Amsterdam contemporary underground and street art scene in possible collaborative work with Mark. The Bodé worlds can look forward to a few more occupants, bringing a touch of Amsterdam style with them.
'Da' Bodé In Amsterdam' runs from July 20th through August 4th.
Vernissage 20 July from 6pm till 9:30pm
Event Website: http://www.articksgallery.com/
Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/
Proudly specialising in urban contemporary and street art, ArTicks Gallery is a refreshing addition to the Amsterdam art scene. Showcasing the talents of artists who work in the no-man’s-land between graffiti and fine art, ArTicks Gallery exhibitions are curated with an eye for skill, passion and humour. Exhibitions change frequently and feature original works by both international and local artists. This small, unpretentious gallery opened in May of 2011 on the Singel canal in the centre of Amsterdam and is easily reached from both Dam Square and Centraal Station. ArTicks Art Consultancy provides consulting services from art rentals through creative marketing projects. Their skills and experience in management and art are effectively applied to advertising, branding, event promotion and merchandising.