Artist Profile – Mark Doox, Part 1
Undoing Racism recently had the opportunity to explore the work and talent of a good friend of Lotus Center, writer, and visual artist, Mark Doox.
In the following interview, Doox describes his origins and how his unique artistic style evolved over the course of his career.
Where are you from, and how do you feel your place of origin influences your work?
I was born in Columbus, Ohio. We were very poor. My mother was illiterate. She was taken out of school very young to work. But she encouraged me to learn to read. I did, and that changed everything. From very young, I was interested in words and pictures.
Can you tell me about a time that a text or image resonated heavily with you? How do you think it’s influenced your art style today?
Absolutely! My report card indicated that I liked to read. I wasn’t reading! I was 5 or 6. I was looking at the pictures! And mainly of the dinosaurs because they were monsters and cool to me. I was infatuated with them. (I guess you can call that reading at that age but knew the difference even then.)
And when my mother said that it was nice that I liked to read because she couldn’t. That blew me away. You mean there is something I could do that Mommy can’t? That thought was a revelation. So I decided not just to look at the pictures but make a concerted effort to read the words. Learning to read became essential to me, which later introduced me to comic books. And I was off to the races.
Comic book art was my gateway drug to art itself in all its facets and depths. Comic books are words and pictures. That love of words and pictures has never gone away. In fact, what I consider to be ‘my magnum opus’- my great work- which took almost 20 years to complete, is an illustrated book. I am in the process of querying literary agents and publishers right now for it. It is called THE N-WORD OF GOD.
This is from my query letter- THE N-WORD OF GOD is eight stories centered around my character Saint Sambo, the personification of the pre-existing darkness before the creation of the universe and before the momentous saying of God, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” Saint Sambo incarnates upon the earth as an ever-smiling and sober-minded jet-black messiah figure that carries a mystical and shining watermelon that he calls “The Grin of Grace.” Saint Sambo receives astounding revelations of American Mysteries, such as the Plantation of God and its Divine Economy. He has crucial visions of God’s unclothed Divine White Booty and its proper reverence. He sees his divine mission as helping as many black people as ” possible to survive and prosper through hidden wisdom and ultimately transforming into the prophesied and superhuman-like ‘Children of Shine in the League of Invisible Men.’ He believes that they can only accomplish this by understanding and accepting the pragmatic and wry wisdom of the N-word of God and its doctrine called ‘whiteousness.'”
Part 2 of this interview will be posted on Monday!
-Your friends at Undoing Racism