China Marks - Ghosts In The Machine

November 4 – December 18, 2021

china marks installation 1
china marks installation detail
china marks installation 2
china marks installation detail 2
china marks installation 3
china marks put a woman in charge
china marks a girl and her robot
china marks a loaded question
china marks a skylord and his young hermaphrodite
china Marks alls quiet
china marks applause
china marks asleep on her feet
china marks creatures from outer space
china marks ghosts in the machine
china marks guys
china marks just horsing around
china marks mad about the boy
china marks our miss bird
China marks recent martyrs
china marks starting over again
china marks summer
china marks summoning the child
china marks the boy with far away eyes
china marks the chimera
china marks the color thief
china marks the five part device
china marks the fool finds no takers
china marks the freaks opt out
china marks the house at the end of the block
china marks the last tree
china marks the nirvana express
china marks the sea inside us
china marks the usual suspects
china marks the view from here
china marks the way of the world
china marks two different worlds
china marks when love dies
china marks with friends it depends
china marks you cant always get what you want
China Marks Ghosts In The Machine detail
China Marks ​Clown Pants, 2014 Fabric, lace, thread, fusible adhesive

Press Release

Ghosts In The Machine is the third solo presentation of China Marks’ work at Owen James Gallery.

A prolific artist, Marks continues to blaze her unique aesthetic path through a combination of textile collage, machine and digital embroidery, and witty texts that imbue her narrative works with poignant humor. Though most often considered as collage, her work can simultaneously be considered assemblage or illustration, with strong visual ties to traditional animation as well.

At the heart of China Mark's process is a vast collection of textile fragments. These range from the beautifully delicate to the cartoonishly absurd, from Dutch-wax African designs to those of pastoral toile. The characters in each work are hybrid: sometimes they rely on the native imagery of their source material, and at other times they are almost sculptural bodies molded with embroidery accents.

The pieces selected for this exhibition focus on Marks’ more intimate, smaller-scaled works. The “short subject” series allows the artist freedom to pare down her complex constructions, focusing on a single scene, or interaction between her fantastical characters. As with her larger, tapestry-based works, the small “drawings” are rich in detail. A beautiful melange of fragments are molded into exotic tableaux that are brought into balance through dense stitching and adroit placements.

No matter the scale, the work of China Marks cannot be viewed all at once. Each scene is it’s own world, dense with the artist’s touch: decisions, additions and subtractions. Indeed, the narratives one observes are only part of the story, as these hand-worked traces vie for our attention.

Each story is full of the emotions and contradictions we all face: desire vs. despair, belonging vs. loneliness, confusion and absolutism. In this way, the wild, expansive universe of China Marks remains eerily familiar.