Mark Alsweiler: Folk art gone contemporary

Carrion Crows

I’m trying to remember just how I came across these fantastic paintings by New Zealand artist Mark Alsweiler, but as I can’t, let me just say I feel lucky I did. They remind me of much of art I saw in Mexico, and like most folk art often suggest a narrative, but the palette strikes me as particularly contemporary.

Different Times

I’m also impressed by the sophisticated way he uses folk elements without “talking down to them,” so to speak. Symmetry and balance play a role in that I suspect–as does a judicious use of blank space.

The Bigsky Web

The use of white in the paintings above and below feels so refreshing.

Sitting Down by the Fire


This piece, with its skeleton on horseback riding next to the living man, reminds me of Mexican art most clearly.More than anything, I end up feeling fascinated and lingering over details in these pieces, wondering what the story behind them is.

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