Mark Creegan’s Installation “Retroskeptive”

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Images taken of Mark Creegan’s installation “Retroskeptive at the Jax Makerspace in the Main Branch of the Jacksonville Library in Downtown Jacksonville.


Mark Creegan’s Installation “Retroskeptive”by Thony Aiuppy.

May 30, 2017.


Retroskeptive is a thoughtful approach to making art through the scope of play.

The organization of objects in the installation, the arrangement of like and unlike things seems to be influenced by the types of games one might play while warming up in an improv class.

Mark Creegan’s exhibition, aptly titled Retroskepive, is currently on view in the Jax Makerspace in the Main Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library.

As you walk into the gallery space, you cannot help but to be pulled in.

The installation covers approximately thirty feet of wall on the north end.

I’ve gotten to know and appreciate Mark’s work over the last decade.

When I think about his artistic vision and his approach to making (more acutely, the way he sees), I am astonished if not astounded.

Where does he get those wonderful ideas?

Arrangement and organization seem to come out of word association games, not from logistical rigor.

He is masterful when it comes to play and improvisation.

A chaotic order seems to pervade Retrospective; a similar sense of invitation when visiting a beloved relative’s house.

In such a space, you may want to sit down with a cup of tea.

Earl gray or English breakfast is fine.

Perhaps some turmeric-ginger if it’s the afternoon.

Allow the momentum flow over you.

Let the work ask questions of you as all great art has the power to do.

It’s going to take time to digest the investment of your time playing is the space.

The installation is a collection of rudimentary materials and utilitarian objects along with marks on paper, assemblages, and collaged pieces.

Ice pops, watercolor sets, hair nets, cassette tapes, how to do it art books: it’s all there to be relished in.

This amalgamation of everyday objects is transfigured into a behemoth of color fields and kinetic curiosity.

Crayola blue, red, and yellow repeat throughout the ensemble.

Bayer cream and eggshell produce lilting dripping patterns.

Paint rollers resemble totems of the analog age.

Nothing seems static.

Everything is plastic, manipulated to its fulcrum.

The installation lacks the overbearing feelings of suffocation, constipation, and stupefication.

Instead, Retroskeptive plays the gentle giant and invites you in to participate and become part of the work.

You have been invited to play.

You will have the opportunity to become part of an experience you never thought you needed.

Mark isn’t flipping the art world on its head.

Instead, what he does is much more sensible and fun.

It’s what he does best actually from an art standpoint.

He plays patsy so that he can later modify the tropes of contemporary art, transforming them into something much more democratic and accessible to all who might view his work or visit an installation.

He’s an equal-opportunity purveyor of all things banal and ordinary.

From there all things are possible, if not profitable.

His wit informs, but never forces your hand to comply to what should be funny.

However, everything he arranges, paints, draws, builds, and organizes seems fun.

And if it’s not fun, why do it anyway?

Fun has been a taboo in art since, well, forever.

Fun doesn’t sell.

Whoever said art had to sell?

There’s much to learn and pull out from the way Mark sees.

Not only does he manipulate everyday objects, but he understands how they can be used in appropriate and interesting ways.

You have to be able to see a thing’s function and see through that thing to know how to reinterpret the object’s meaning and role in art.

While the spaces between objects is interesting, it’s the way he uses them that makes me take a step back and think, oh, I’ve never seen it like that before.