Mark Dunst is an artist based in Portland, Oregon who specializes in improvisational, abstract painting. He coined the term "Affective Abstraction" to describe his work, which draws inspiration from the continuously changing emotional undercurrents that occur between individuals and between masses.
Mark's journey to becoming a full-time artist began as a child when painting and drawing became his most loyal companions helping him to understand the world and at times to escape it (and himself). Years later, after a brief foray into Mathematics, he earned his BFA in Painting from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to graduating, he started working as an illustrator for a successful advertising specialties startup. Mark spent the next three decades as an award-winning Art Director in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Portland. However, as he grew older and the world around him became increasingly unhinged, he felt lost in his understanding of it all.
To move forward, Mark realized he needed to return to his roots as an artist. He slowly reconnected with painting and drawing, something he hadn't done in over 25 years. Today, Mark's artistic practice continues to help him challenge his habitual thinking, unlearn what he thought he knew and understand his relationship to the rapidly changing, post-normal world we share.
Mark's artwork can be found in public and private collections across the United States and abroad. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Pacific Northwest, including at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, Gallery 157, Beaverton Arts Council, and Sidestreet Arts. Additionally, his work has been featured on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's social media, online publications and the internationally distributed ArtFolio annual book series. Mark has also participated in virtual residencies with Yellow Chair Salon and Artists Alliance.