Mark Lyken is a visual artist & musician based in Glasgow, Scotland. Growing up, his family moved between Scotland & South Africa, never remaining in one place for longer than a year or two. Lyken’s history as a graffiti artist stretches back to the eighties when he was one of the first writers active in Scotland. For a number of years, Lyken designed and published the graffiti magazine Skinnycap, as well as enjoying critical success with the electro band Voigt Kampff. He continues to record, travel & exhibit, applying his abstract style to different surfaces & mediums. Last year, Lyken curated the first Graffuturism exhibition, Rudimentary Perfection, at Recoat Gallery in Glasgow.
2012 has been an incredibly busy period for Lyken receiving continued Press attention with two solo exhibitions; a solo album called Bit Rot; a fashion collaboration with Che Camille; The "Forms & Spaces" interventions with Teo Moneyless Pirisi around Scotland; remixes, group shows and murals including See No Evil in Bristol where he was among 30 handpicked artists whos work was viewed by crowds of 50000 attending the worlds largest Street Art Festival.
Lyken was also awarded the Sublime Artist Residency by IOTA in the Highlands of Scotland. Working alongside Aberdeen University's Marine Biology Team in the Lighthouse Field Station in Cromarty, the Black Isle to create a multimedia installation called "The Terrestrial Sea" over a three month period over the summer the fruits of which are released on Gamma Proforma.
The universe he explores in his work he defines as “abstract meditations on the digital world.” Intended as a mirror held up to the electronic age, his art raises new millennium themes of digital transformation, technological mediation, social media-based interpersonal relationships, and computers as prosthesis and repositories of human personality and culture.
Lyken creates worlds within worlds, chemical universes at a microscopic revealed at a microscopic level. His work is intellectual, abstract and beautiful, and his paintings are refined and stunning in composition, palette and technique. Hanging on the walls of the gallery, they resemble views from a starship cruiser portal, sliding through the dark matter of deep space beyond star clusters, spiral nebulae and glowing amorphous clouds. Because of his gifts as a musician as well as a painter, Lyken also creates completely immersive multimedia environments, a geography of sight and sound. In totality, the sound and three-dimensional elements create a cohesive aesthetic statement that permeates the visitor’s senses.
2012: The Terrestrial Sea, Cromarty, Scotland; The Loneliness Machines, Recoat Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland, The Fine Art of Tailoring (With Che Camille); Forms and Spaces, Moneyless x Mark Lyken, Glasgow, Scotland; Pattern Interrupt. Art-El Gallery, Bristol, UK. 2011: Rudimentary Perfection, Recoat, Glasgow; Polychrome Smoke. Curated by Moniker Projects. Wagamama. Glasgow; Bit Rot, XOYO, London; Alphanauts: Lyken & Rekor, LA Academy, Glasgow; Advanced Mechanics: Lyken & Elph, Pageant, Edinburgh; 30 Years of British Art, Royal Festival Hall, London. 2010: Amnesty Urban Art Exhibition, C Venues SoCo Urban Garden, Edinburgh. 2009: Fusion, Studio Warehouse, Glasgow. 2009: Holiday Special, Recoat Gallery, Glasgow. 2006///Rouge. Flesh Gallery. Edinburgh. 1997: Soloists, Outsider Art, Inverness. 1996: Untitled, 369 Gallery, Edinburgh. 1996: Working Under Pressure, Blueprint, Glasgow.
Reference Notes: Information and texts compiled from the artist’s website (lykenlove.com), and an article on 12ozProphet by Daniel Feral from March 27, 2012.