Mark Rohrig is a surrealist/realist painter who drawn inspiration from the mystical nobility of the Native American culture. Born in 1955 in Grand Junction, Colorado, Mark Rohrig showed talent at an early age, and is now one of the most important painters in the American West. A self-taught success story, Mark is among the relatively small number of western painters who have made their living as a fine artist for their entire career.
Rohrig's artwork reflects a bond that he has experienced between him and Native Americans. He has been creating his signature images of Native Americans since 1975 and he continues to draw inspiration from the nobility of their spirit.
The artist, however, does not consider himself an authority on Native Americans. Rohrig notes, "I don't paint specific Indians – I'm not trying to copy history. I'm just using history for inspiration and as a point of departure."
His paintings are vibrant and spiritual, depicting landscapes with multiple braves as well as stark, striking portraits of weary warriors. His work contrasts multi-textured backgrounds with a stalwart figure that embodies nobility and spiritual values. The attention to detail in his art serves to focus the viewer's attention. While the impressive detail of each piece reflects Rohrig's research on beadwork, artifacts, and faces, the artist insists that details are not the point. Rather, the story that each canvas conveys is the ultimate bottom line.
Rohrig explains that within his portraits, "a visual metamorphosis is happening; "it is as if [the subject] is fading yet emerging into a new world" (Mark Rohrig, Mystical Realist, Southwest Art, September 2010).
Working without photos, Rohrig has become increasingly interested in intensity of detail and softer colors. Recently, his subject matter has expanded from landscapes and braves to include Native American women and children as well as mountain men.
He states, "I'm beginning to show people in relationship to each other, such as the mountain men and the Native American family. I'm including more activities in my canvases." Rohrig works solely in acrylics, which he prefers because of the intensity of the pigment as well as their quick drying time.
Rohrig's work is featured in such diverse private collections throughout the world as Kevin Costner's, Mariah Carey's, and Cher's.