Mark Essen was born in Reigate, UK and Graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Birmingham City University in 2007 and received an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2014.
Selected exhibitions include: Local Objects, Via Donatella, Milan (2016); Faux Sho, It´s All Tropical, Assembly House, Leeds (2015); A Union of Voices, Horatio Jr. London, Marcelle Joseph Projects, Hatton Gardens, London, See it this, Forde, Geneva, Switzerland, Sounding,Open file, Modern Art Oxford, Essen kunsthaus, Royal College of Art,London (2014); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013 – Spike Island, Bristol & ICA, London (2013); Outpost members show – selected by Ruth Ewan – Norwich, Flagworks – Worcester City art gallery, Open file, Milton Keynes Gallery, Epochal Idealism, Horatio Jr. London, Curator’s Egg Altera Pars, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London (2012); Slipped, Wysing Arts Contemporary, Cambridge, The Anti-Library, SPACE, London, Pursuing the Turquoise Universal, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, Summer Fayre, Outpost, Norwich, Club Hot Zeus with John Napier, Bad Music, Fierce festival platinum (2011).
Significant to Mark Essen's practice are the inherent contradictions embodied in his process, material and titling. Essen's work oscillates between celebration and ridicule and notions of abjection and power. He does this by creating extremely similar works which he then paradoxically titles with opposing concepts, such as crown and potty. In doing this Essen conflates the value, meaning and function of his objects and thereby plays with the potential duality of use and function attributed to these forms. The resulting works are, however, expressive rather than functional representations of hierarchy and necessity, but simultaneously catalyse questions about social construction through language and value systems.