Mark Dutcher

By Carla Weber

After the Watts riots in the mid-60’s and into the 70’s, no    one in their right mind moved south of Olympic; okay, maybe Pico, but never further south. Back then there were a few artists looking for cheap, large, alternative spaces and urban outsider gratification. Yet in the last decade, artists have begun flocking to the corridors as if by gravitational pull. Now, drive down Jefferson Boulevard and you’ll notice signs proclaiming the area, “ARTIST DISTRICT’! Mark Dutcher, a resident artist who has braved Exposition Boulevard for the last five years, made mention of this fact upon my recent visit to his studio.

Mark Dutcher’s studio is tucked in between a swath of industrial buildings that go back to the 1940’s, when Exposition Boulevard housed small industrial businesses ranging from furniture makers, garment plants and machine shops. In the very near future, the Metro Link will be running tracks right across the street, from Downtown all the way to Culver City, connecting him even closer to the hubbub of the downtown gallery scene.

Mark has embraced the area, “the neighborhood has grown around me,” and his art has come to reflect the neighborhood resources, like the armature from Desert Shades, a small lamp factory on Jefferson Blvd.. He is using it to create a piece for his upcoming show Feb 14.

“I am opposed to the idea of preciousness in painting. I am all for decay and disintegration. I want the painting to be weathered and layered. I usually go into my studio and destroy or paint out what I had painted the day before. I have an urge toward self-destruction. Most days I act that out in the studio. I am very interested in the melancholic idea of beauty - that nothing lasts. I want the viewer to be a part of the painting rather than reading it as a novel or story. I think that is why I paint so large, so people can enter the work.”

You can catch his upcoming show from February 14th through March 20th at the Steve Turner Contemporary Gallery, located at 6020 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also check Mark’s work at

click here






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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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