Mark Wardel AKA TradeMark is a contemporary artist who as well as exhibiting his own painting and fine art, applies his technique to producing artwork/imagery for high profile clients in the entertainment, music and club industries.
His instantly recognisable work which draws on influences from traditional portraiture through post punk graphics, New York street art of the 70s and 80s, Soviet era propaganda posters , pop art and high fashion imagery, explores issues of identity, portraiture and the self created personae prevalent within the entertainment, club and urban sub-cultures and has been featured on magazine and record covers as well as prestigious club related campaigns worldwide.
On finishing art school in 1978 Mark (a longtime super-fan of David Bowie) relocated from Liverpool to London where he gravitated towards the music/club scene specifically the Blitz club where he became ‘court painter’ to the club’s Bowie influenced luminaries including Steve Strange, Princess Julia and a pre fame Boy George who has remarked that being painted at age 18 by Mark made him feel like a star years before stardom came calling.
As the Blitz influence exploded into the 80s creating the new club/pop culture, Mark both exhibited his work and created record covers, art direction and campaigns for many of the decades prime movers and pop stars before in 1990 becoming involved in creating the visual identity and art imagery for now legendary club ‘Trade’ at Turnmills which launched the careers of many top Dj’s including Smokin’ Jo, Tony Devit and Tall Paul (Newman) amongst others as well as gaining Mark the moniker ‘Trade’Mark, a tag that has become familiar to clubbers worldwide as a signifier of great visuals, art direction and imagery.
His work has generated press stories and been exhibited to acclaim in museums and galleries internationally and in 2013 he was commissioned by the V&A in London to create a (sell out) edition of 300 ‘Silver Duke’ David Bowie life mask sculptures in conjunction with the museum’s blockbusting ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition. David Bowie/Isolar later purchased two masks from Wardel for inclusion in the official Bowie archive.
In 2015 Defected Records commissioned Mark Wardel/TradeMark to produce campaign artwork/imagery for their highly successful season of ‘Glitterbox’ parties at Space Ibiza and The Ministry Of Sound in London.
In 2015 Mark was commissioned to design the official Boy George logo to be used on all future Boy George projects and products.
Currently Showing ‘Homotopia City’ a painting Mark created for the Liverpool based LGBT art organisation Homotopia is currently on display at The Museum Of Liverpool as part of their ‘Tales From The City’ exhibition.
Clients and collectors include: David Bowie/Isolar New York City, Defected Records, V&A museum, Daphne Guinness London, Soho House, Ministry Of Sound, Marc Almond, Kylie Minogue, Absolute Vodka and Boy George.
Examples of Mark Wardel’s David Bowie mask related artworks have been featured in BBC2’s Artsnight programme as well as in several prestigious new Bowie related books including ‘A Portrait Of Bowie (by his artistic collaborators and contemporaries) by Rolling Stone’s Brian Hiatt and ‘Earthbound’ (David Bowie and the Man Who Fell To Earth) by Susan Compo.
Mark Wardel/TradeMark lives and works in London