“The tape is the message”. A parody on Marshall McLuhan's famous quote could explain the superficial motives, which make up the work of Mark Khaisman - an impressive and hypnotic creation, a source of curiosity and pun. Making use of two unusual and daily basic ingredients, sticky tape and Plexiglas, Mark Khaisman creates works where technique plays a large part. By superimposing layers of tape he creates a stratification, which produces pictorial illusions highlighted by colour, shading, and embossment. This result is achieved by way of transparencies and opaqueness, by working on a translucent surface placed over a light source. The complete dependence on artificial light can be seen as a pure necessity, at the same time it may bring up notions of visible and invisible, existence and non-existence. Once the implausible nature of his work is accepted, one can begin to think about the kind of images chosen to be portrayed, which are categorized into different groups: fragmented stills from classic cinema, iconic objects from art history and from pop culture. The works are exploring the familiarity of our shared visual history made of well-known materials formed into popular images. Mark Khaisman builds an image that is as fragile as its materials, asking the viewer to recognize and complete the work, stimulating both memory and interpretation in the process.
Mark Khaisman's work includes two extensive series, Stills and Objects. The first represents screenshots of films from the 1950s. The work in this series is characterized by an impression of contradictory instability, preventing the visitor from grasping with certainty the details of the subject portrayed by the artist. Mark Khaisman is known to the general public through his series Objects, in which he represents icons of luxury and prestige belonging to the history of design and popular culture, such as Birkins bags or Fabergé eggs.
Mark Khaisman holds a master's degree in art and architecture from the Moscow Institute of Architecture. He worked for several decades in architecture, animation, and stained glass design. His lightboxes and installations have been exhibited in various institutions in Europe and the United States, including Queen's Art Museum in New York, the Visual Art Center of New Jersey, the Woodmere Art Museum of Philadelphia, the Vitra Design Museum, the Weil am Rhein in Germany, the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, and several others. His work can be found in several museum collections, including the Delaware Art Museum, as well as in numerous private and corporate collections, including the Brandywine Trust Collection, the British Airline Collection, and the NBC Collection. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Mark Khaisman now lives and works in Philadelphia.