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MWF is a pseudonym of Mark Flake (born 1960, in Memphis,Tennessee) is an American painter and sculptor, but is best known as an avant-garde musician.

His surreal and expressionistic oil paintings have been exhibited across the United States, and his graphic art appears on album andcompact disc covers throughout the States and in Europe andAustralia, primarily on releases from the Wood Records avant garde and outsider music label which he founded, and with which he has an on again/off again relationship.

He has appeared on more than fifty albums and compact discs. His early releases were homemade cassette tapes released by his own cassette only label, Wyndam Garage.

MUSIC

In 1999, he founded Wood Records and gave compact disc releases of his back catalog, and has continued to release his own works at the rate of approximately two discs per year. The music runs through a wide variety of stylistic categories that includes everything from folk and experimental rock, to avante garde jazzpunk and noise, to serious chambercompositions and music concrete.

MWF is also known for a number of albums that parody other styles including metal and hip-hopRadio Revolutiondescribed his work as "the perfect blend of Leonard Cohen and Captain Beefheart", but he has most often been compared stylistically to The Residents and to Frank Zappa.

His best known recordings are probably Selling Grit (1997), a more or less satirical pop rock album, and Singles on Wheels, (2001) a self-selected greatest hits compilation that included an edited version of the song "Monster Karaoke" which would be his best selling single. As a performer, he is best known as an electric guitar soloist and improviser, but has also released acoustic guitar works similar in style to the later works of John Fahey, albeit with a more sinister tone. As a guitarist, he has been part of a number of music ensembles, including the Blenders, the Willards, EllenM, and the Ants. His own live group, the MWF trio, has had a shifting line-up that has included performance artist and cornetist Barry Arthur and harmonica virtuoso Bhopal Whitaker. He has also produced a variety of collaborative works with artists such as San Francisco guitarist Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Indiana multi-instrumentalist Zed Salt, and North Carolina experimentalists The Optimysticals. In 2008, he worked as half of the duo, Wonderhell, with Ecuadorian percussionist Emmanuel Sortito.

LABEL

His Wood Records music label has given release to albums by many artists from the U.S. and Europe, most notablySweden's Johnny J and Italy's LAM. Flake has also appeared on a variety of tribute albums from other labels such as Blod Records of Canada's Tribute to the Eighties and a recent Roky Erikson tribute.

ART

His paintings have been compared stylistically to those of the [German Expressionists] and to the Surrealists, particularly to works by George Grosz and Max Ernst. They can also be characterized by a rich impasto and muted colors, particularly black and white mixed with earth tones.

His sculptural works are mainly found object pieces in the manner of Marcel Duchamp and temporary installations reminiscent of the Fluxus movement. The content of his art, particularly his early work, has primarily focused on a unique ability to find beauty and hidden meaning in the mediocre and banal. His more recent work, since 2000, has been somewhat more colorful, more overtly political, and harsher in tone.

 

curriculum vitae

 

Mark Flake 

 

education

(1999)

Master of Fine Arts: East Tennessee State University

(1997)

Bachelor of Fine Arts: University of Memphis



selected exhibitions, competitions, and screenings:


(2017) 

Monsters and Cars exhibition, Delurk Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC 

Intermission exhibition, Iredell Arts Council, Statesville, NC 

(2016)

Rancho Mysterio (film) featured selection and screening, Cheyenne Zombiefest Independent Horror Film Festival

Sweetpickles’ Rattlesnake Rodeo (screenplay) selection, New York International Film Festival, New York, New York

Mollinka  (screenplay)  semi-finalist,  Low Light Features Independent Film Festival,  Orlando, Florida 

 (2015)

Monsters and Cars, solo show, New South Gallery, Statesville, NC 

Sweetpickles’ Rattlesnake Rodeo (screenplay), finalist, Woods Hole International Film Festival, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

(2014)

“Venus Flytraps”, sculpture, permanent collection, Inner Self, Hanes Corporation, Charlotte NC

Intermission (solo painting and sculpture show), New South Gallery, Statesville NC

(2013)

Rancho Mysterio, (film), screening, New South Gallery, Statesville  NC

Rancho Mysterio, (film), featured selection and screening, East Carolina Film Festival, Winterville  NC

(2011)

Studio Gallery, Newton NC 

(2009)

MCC Faculty Show, Statesville NC 

(2008)

Health Tips (solo), Western Piedmont Community College, Morganton NC 

(2004)

Local Showcase, Gallery 1688, Memphis  TN 

(2003)

Mark Flake (solo), Mercer Gallery, Garden City  KS 

(2002)

New Paintings and Sculpture (duo show), Carnegie Center, Dodge City  KS 

(2001)

KS Art Educators Exhibit, Carnegie Center, Dodge City  KS

In the Land of Good and Plenties (solo), Blas Bleu Theatre Gallery, Fort Collins  CO 

(2000)
 
Paper Rock Scissors (3 person show), Johnson City TN 

(1998-99)

East TN State University Faculty Show,  William King Museum, Abington  VA 

(1997)

Paper In Particular,  Columbia  MO

First TN Bank Exhibition (awarded prize),  Johnson City  TN

Bristol Arts, Bristol  VA

Memphis Arts Festival (awarded prize) Memphis, TN

Ah Men, Barrington IL

Spilled Milk (solo), Slocumb Gallery, Johnson City TN

Trouble at the Old Mill (solo), Cheyenne WY 

(1996)

13 Oil Paintings (solo), University of Memphis

Numbest XXX  , Plan B Gallery Memphis TN

Solstice, Earlville Opera House,  Earlville, NY

TN All-State, Parthenon Gallery, Nashville  TN

Men at Work,  Barrington, IL 

(1993)

Boys and Girls ,  Marshall Arts, Memphis TN

(1990)

Paul Edelstein Gallery Oil Exhibit,  Memphis TN 

(1989)

Metalwerks Gallery,  Memphis TN