Artist Bio / Statement

Mark is a native Chicagoan. He is a self-taught artist and paints at the Hubbard Street Studios, nearby his beloved neighborhood of Wicker Park, in the vibrant company of nine other artists. 

Mark is an award winning artist, art exhibit curator, fund raiser for the arts, an Auxiliary Board member of the Art Institute of Chicago, an artist guild member at the Elmhurst Art Museum; the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the San Diego Oceanside Museum of Art. 

Mark's work has been mentioned in the press, in blogs, newsletters and two art exhibition catalogs. He has been represented by four art galleries (two currently). Mark enjoys showing his large-scale abstract paintings and giving artist talks at Art Galleries, Art Centers, Universities, Libraries, high-end retail stores and in artist guild member shows. 

His work has been exhibited in Bartlett, Bronzeville, Bucktown, Clearing, Edgewater, Hyde Park, Lakeview, Pilsen, Ravenswood, Roseland, Wicker Park, Hinsdale, Lake Forest, Elmhurst and Three Oaks, Michigan. 

Mark turned to art after a long career in finance and operations. A life-long learner, Mark participated in a 6 month professional pathways artist program at the Hyde Park Art Center. 

Mark Yee
1732 W. Hubbard, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL

(near Damen and Grand)

Artist Statement

My abstract paintings are autobiographical. A first generation Chinese-American, I lived a life scripted by others and by the expectations of those around me. I ran my life according to those scripts and the real picture of me was buried beneath.

My paintings have dozens or hundreds of layers of paint. I scrape and sand the surface to find the colors buried beneath the surface. But then I find myself adding more paint and the colors are buried once again in a cycle of adding and scraping. The proces is compulsive and freeing at the same time. I strive to reveal the story that was there all the time, just below the surface.

What viewers see is a highly textured surface reminiscent of a weathered barn. When viewers take a step back, they often see vistas that remind them of landscapes and seascapes and most recently, perhaps see traces of my Chinese heritage.
When I look at my paintings close-up, I find that traces of each layer do remain, like a thought etched into memory or like a scar written on the heart.

My paintings are complete when the frenetic energy resolves itself and the layers merge and meld across the length and width of the entire canvas, telling a chapter of my story.

Mark's work is owned by:
  • Steve and Melissa Quick, Chicago Jeweler
  • Grace Sergio Banks, Real Estate Broker
  • Jerry Sherwood, past owner of Windy City Sweets on Broadway at Aldine
  • Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House
  • Shane Staszcuk, Principal, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy