This weekend local visual artist Mark George unveils his latest neo-pop-art paintings with his solo exhibit, POUT, held at Space 42 in Riverside.  

Blending his innate skills as a commercial artist and graphic designer, with his signature approach towards contemporary painting, George is known for using unconventional surface materials to create images that can appear both haunting and humorous; at times in the same composition. 

Applying what almost appear to be “brush-free” strokes of acrylic to torn panels of corrugated roofing material, he creates cryptic postcard images dispatched from some phantom sender, mailed from the shadow-realm of Americana, with no discernible return address.

For POUT, George focuses on the expression of pouting, which George sees as a type of empowering defiance to the “You should smile more” mentality aimed at women that still permeates our culture. 

“This exhibit portrays the feminine response to these social norms, and expectations of constant smiling,” says George. “Emotions that embody both happiness, and sadness are equally as beautiful to me. I enjoy capturing these expressions, and conveying it in my work.” 

Locally George has shown has work at galleries and spaces including the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, MOCA Jax, Florida Mining Gallery, Tact Gallery, Versus Gallery, and BREW. 

In recent years, George has focused on exhibitions held throughout North America, including shows at Alabama Contemporary (Mobile), Beats and Bohos (Seattle), Ayden Gallery (Vancouver, BC), and Krause Gallery (NYC), along with his annual representation by Harold Golen Gallery during Art Basel Miami Beach. 

As George hasn’t shown his work locally in years, POUT will be a long-overdue opportunity to check out what this long-time Jax arts favorite has been up to. 

The reception includes a pop-up shop featuring original Mark George merch.

The opening reception for POUT is held from 6-10 p.m. December 14 at Space 42, 2670 Phyllis St., Riverside; exhibit runs through February 2; spacefortytwo.com; markge.org.