Mark Maggiori - A Fresh View of the American West - Mountain & Prairie Podcast
Mark Maggiori has taken the western art scene by storm with his dramatically realistic paintings of cowboys, horses, landscapes, and scenes from the American West. But painting is only a small part of Mark’s journey as a professional artist—he is also an accomplished director, filmmaker, drawer, photographer, and musician, working for companies like Disney as an illustrator and fronting a major-record-label rock band. To make his story even more interesting, Mark was born and raised in France, and is a relative newcomer to the western United States.
When he was 15, Mark took a road trip across America with his adventurous uncle, igniting his passion for Western landscapes and planting the seed of his western art career that would flourish two decades later. Between then and now, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability to dive headfirst into a wide array of artistic endeavors with single-minded focus and work ethic, enjoying success at every level. At little over three years ago, at age 36, all of Mark’s talents and experiences melded together when he decided to try and paint his first cowboy. In what he describes as an epiphany, Mark immediately knew he had found his true identity as an artist.
Mark and I had a fun conversation. We talk about all the stages of his prolific career as an artist, and how he has approached each one with a laser-like focus and uncompromising work ethic. Mark explains how he discovered his talent for drawing—a talent that he had no idea he possessed until after he had enrolled in art school. We also chat about how being new to America has afforded him a fresh perspective on the people and landscapes of the American West, a perspective that shines through in his paintings. He gives details on his workman-like approach to painting and ensuring the historical accuracy of his work, and how exercise helps to fuel his creativity and work ethic. As usual, we cover favorite books, documentaries, and the craziest thing that’s ever happened to him in the outdoors, which is a ridiculous and pretty damn scary story!
Be sure to check out the webpage for links to all of Mark’s work, his upcoming solo show, and everything we discuss in this episode. Hope you enjoy!
3:00 - How Mark describes his work
5:11 - Growing up in France
6:30 - Road trip across America
11:20 - Mark’s interests as a teenager
12:40 - The attraction to art school
15:40 - Discovering his talent for art
18:45 - Learning work ethic
20:30 - Working for Disney
22:45 - Working in music videos
23:45 - Performing music and creating art
24:30 - Mark’s time with Pleymo
27:25 - Leaving music
32:00 - Coming to America to make a film
35:40 - Demolition derbies and rodeos
36:50 - Starting to paint cowboys
41:00 - Building his following through Instagram and networking
44:00 - Expanding to new galleries
45:00 - Secret of painting clouds
47:55 - Keeping his work accurate
50:00 - Starting to paint Native Americans
54:30 - Mark’s daily routine
58:45 - Favorite books
1:01:00 - Favorite documentaries
1:02:30 - Favorite place in the West
1:03:50 - Most powerful experience in the outdoors
1:05:30 - Getting chased by crazy people in Louisiana
1:10:15 - Mark’s request of the listeners
1:12:50 - Connect with Mark online and learn about his upcoming art show