Mark Stock (1951-2014)
It is now over seven years since Mark died suddenly in Oakland on March 26th, 2014 and we had a stellar memorial, including his paintings, music and photos, and hundreds of friends and family at the Scottish Rite Center, but he is still very much with us.
His life story in his own words are below, or see his obituaries in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and CineSource Magazine.
The World According to Mark Stock
Since setting up this Website some five years ago, a lot has happened, much of it related to cinema. I was selected to design the poster image for the 2007 Telluride Film Festival. My painting portrayed a man who is obsessed with the woman working in a theatre ticket booth. I enjoyed this opportunity to incorporate my love of cinema with themes that have recurred in my paintings such as obsession, fixation and voyeurism.
Sharon and I attended the weekend-long festival in the lovely town of Telluride, nestled in the Colorado peaks. We enjoyed many wonderful films as well as that year’s tribute honoring Daniel Day Lewis.
Also in 2007, Jada Pinkett Smith used over a dozen of my paintings in her directorial debut, the feature film, “The Human Contract”. It was fun to attend the film shoot in Los Angeles for the scenes involving my images.
Then, in 2008, David Arquette contacted me, asking permission to use one of my paintings as the subject for a short film which he would direct as well as act in.
The painting, "The Butler's in Love - Absinthe", hangs at Bix Restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. After reading the screenplay by Curtis Reynolds, I enthusiastically gave my approval. As I watched the film shoot at Bix, it was rewarding for me to see that the painting I created back in 1989 was being paid a tribute with it’s very own movie. A red carpet premier was even held at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood — actually, a green carpet in honor of the absinthe theme! — which was quite the finale.
More recently, Magic Magazine did a feature article on my dear friend, the great comedic magician Voronin. Its cover was graced with one of the many portraits I have painted of Voronin over the years and several other painting were reproduced to accompany the text.
I continue to have one-man shows at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco—indeed, one entitled "Stage Stories", just opened on March 1, 2012. I also had a show in New York in 2010. Again in 2011, however, I returned to the realm of cinema when I was contacted by the documentary film director/producer, Wendy Slick. Filming is still ongoing for "The World of Mark Stock - A Noir Documentary" — more on it when she finishes.
The Life of Mark Stock
Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1951, the son of an Army officer, Mark Stock lived in many states across America before settling in St. Petersburg, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa where he studied under Theo Wujcik.
Upon graduating in 1976, Stock was hired to work at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles as a lithographer. While there, he printed for notable artists such as Jasper Johns, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein before leaving to paint full time.
In 1977, Stock began studying ballet and modern dance. His work expanded to include designing sets for various Los Angeles-based dance companies. He started to paint the figure in 1983 and has become widely known for his narrative paintings.
From the 2000 book, Mark Stock: Paintings, by Barnaby Conrad III:
“Mark Stock's paintings connect viewers to the euphoria, loneliness and sometimes fatal entanglements of romance. Often melodramatic and tinged with irony, Stock's images illustrate love's power to provoke our best - and most illicit - behavior. A well-dressed voyeur peeks through a mansion window, silent and intent on the object of his desire. Picnicking lovers lock into each other's eyes. An attractive woman smokes a cigarette as she sits next to a man's corpse, which has been rolled neatly in a carpet, ready for disposal. A butler steals a moment to treasure lipstick left on a glass by the woman who employs him. Stocks paintings tell each character's story with remarkable clarity and, in many cases, with humor. A master of the realist narrative style, Stock uses color, shadow and line to amazing effect. Details in facial inflection, body language, and background tell you there's more going on here than rapture, scandal, and dangerous liaisons. These paintings keep you coming back for another look, for clues to life's emotionally charged moments."
Stock's works can be found in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art (New York and San Francisco), The Library of Congress and The National Gallery.
Besides painting, Stock is a jazz drummer whose trio performs regularly. Also an accomplished magician and serious golfer, Stock previously held Club Championship titles at Sonoma Golf Club and Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland. He resides in Oakland, California.
Frankfurt, Germany, 1951
St. Petersburg Junior College
University of South Florida, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Selected Public Collections
Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, San Francisco,
Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Museum, NY
De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Los Angeles Center Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Speed Museum, Louisville, KY
Tampa Museum, Tampa, FL
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, NJ
1992 Los Angeles Chamber Ballet production of Sleepwalk
Ballet Pacifica production of Personal
1990 Los Angeles Chamber Ballet production of So Nice
1989 Los Angeles Chamber Ballet production of Dmitri
1988 Los Angeles Chamber Ballet production of Orpheus-
A Ballet-Opera in One Act
1986 Los Angeles Chamber Ballet production of The Little
1984 Playwright Nancy Barr's Johnny Dakota Writes It
1981 Rudy Perez Dance Company production of Tracers
and Take Stock
1982-85 Painted scenery for films and television
2012 Stage Stories, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2010 Oil Paintings, Sutherland Fine Arts, Ltd., New
2009 Short Stories, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2009 Drawings & Prints, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2008 Reverie, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2007 Survey Exhibition 1985-2007, Modernism West, San
2006 Palimpsest, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2005 Illusions, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2004 New Paintings, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2003 Nightfall, Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002 Teatro Zinzanni, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
2001 Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1999 Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL
1999 Suggested Evidence, New Paintings, Modernism, San
1997 A Double Life , Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1996 Mark Stock: Paintings and Designs 1986-1996 ,
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
1995 Hollywood, Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1994 Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1992 State & Costume Designs for the Theater & Other
Works on Paper 1977-1992, Modernism, San
1991 Susan Johnson Gallery, Tampa, FL
1990 Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1989 Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1989 Rosenthal Fine Arts, Chicago, IL
Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1988 Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Modernism, San Francisco, CA
1987 Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1986 California Contemporary Artist 32 , Laguna Art
Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
1985 Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1981 Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, NY
1980 University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award, University of
South Florida, Tampa, FL 1993
Mark Stock: Paintings by Barnaby Conrad II
The World of Mark Stock in photos.
Mark’s final resting spot is at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, CA.
His tombstone was designed using one of his original images. Why a tombstone in a wagon? Mark can explain this best: YouTube clip.
Mark wins first place with his drumming at a talent show when he was 12, 1963.
Mark circa 1973, note drawing pen in pocket..
In the 1980s, Mark collaborated with other Los Angeles artists in performance pieces, one of which is shown here.
Dale Howard (with cigar) was surprised when, upon arrival at the Los Angeles Airport (around 1982), he was met by (lft-rt) Ilona Miko as the maid, Ian Cousineau as the chauffeur and Mark as the butler—of course!
Quite the acrobat, Mark unicycling around his window-less studio in downtown Los Angeles, circa 1986.
Mark "walks the ball" for a performance in Los Angeles, 1986.
Mark in studio, in front of a piece from "The Viewer Series", circa 1987.
Mark with his cat Boo, around 1986, Los Angeles.
Mark and the just-completed "Butler's in Love", soon to become his best-known painting, Los Angeles, 1989. Still wet, it was about to be shipped to Bix Restaurant in San Francisco for Barnaby Conrad's "Absinthe" book signing.
In the 1980s, Mark also picked up and mastered the art of magic, here doing a trick he called, "Levitating dead presidents.".
Mark's first brushes did not involve paint; indeed, since childhood, when he started studying with his older brother, he was a talented drummer.
Mark at a recording session at Storyville with bassist John Goodman, saxophonist Jules Broussard and (off camera) pianist Tee Carson, jazz artists who recognized Mark's advanced rock drummer chops and brought him into their band in the 1990s.
Mark's 50th birthday celebration, with soon-to-become longtime partner Sharon Ding, at Foreign Cinema restaurant in San Francisco, 2001.
Mark backstage with the comedic magician Voronin, as he prepares to go on stage, circa 2002.
Shooting Voronin for a painting in Teatro Zinzanni's tent in San Francisco, 2002.
Mark with his paintings for his "Teatro Zinzanni" show at Modernism Gallery, 2002.
Mark painting faux wood paneling on his condo walls in Oakland, 2003.
The finished piece: Mark's dining room, featuring one of his film noiresque paintings of a dead romantic.
Some older lithographs and memorabilia, on a wall of his Oakland residence.
Mark's 25-foot ceiling-ed living room, where he reserved the highest spot for a portrait of the comedic magician Voronin.
Mark's 54th birthday, in 2005, celebratted at Prima, a restaurant in Walnut Creek, where he was playing jazz that evening with the Mark Stock Trio.
The Mark Stock Trio, (lft-rt) Mark, Chuck
Metcalf and David Udolf, gigged around the Bay Area through the 2000s.
Mark performs magic for Joan Baez in 2006.
Voronin, Vitali Klitschko, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and Mark at his home in Oakland, perhaps 2007.
Mark napping with his and Sharon's beloved beagle, Gus, 2007.
Mark and Sharon in Telluride for the film festival, for which he designed the poster, in 2007.
Mark and Sharon in front of his festival poster in a Telluride bookstore, 2007.
Mark with director Ken Burns at the Telluride Film Festival.
Mark with director Werner Herzog at Telluride.
Magicians Voronin and Teller visit Mark at his Oakland home.
Filming 'The Butler's in Love', a short directed by and starring David Arquette, based on Mark's painting, at Bix Restaurant, North Beach, San Francisco, 2008.
Mark played the magician in Arquette's short "The Butler's in Love", 2008.
Mark with Thomas Jane (lft) and David Arquette after shooting wrapped on "The Butler's in Love".
Mark with his art dealer Martin Muller at the Hollyshorts Film Festival, which opened with 'The Butler's in Love' in 2008.
(Lft-rt) Will Combs, Erich Anderson, Greg Tellis and Mark at the 16th hole, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, 2008.
A production still from the filming of "The Human Contract", featuring Mark's paintings, a feature directed by Jada Pinkett Smith, in Los Angeles, 2008.
Mark and Sharon with their beagle Millie, which they saved from laboratory research, in front of her portrait, in 2011.
Mark with his family for his 60th birthday celebration in 2011.
Mark with paintings for his "Hollywood Uncovered" which opened in November, 2013.
Mark and model Briana do a photo shoot for the "Hollywood Uncovered" show, 2013.
Mark and the art dealer Lora Schlesinger whose gallery put on the "Hollywood Uncovered" show, 2013.
Greg Ding, Sharon Ding, Stefanie Davis and Mark in Yosemite for the Ahwahnee Bracebridge Dinner, in 2013.
Mark with brother Don, sister-in-law Judy and Sharon, February 2014.