Metaphor and Art
This site is about the use of metaphor to express abstract ideas in ways that are visual and related to the body. It is the brainchild of Mark Staff Brandl and Mark G. Taber. Here we present text and artwork that elaborates on the concept. Join us on Facebook to discuss with others, or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you.
Mark Staff Brandl
is an artist and art historian based in Europe. He is interested in how artists' approaches concretely manifest content in culturally antithetical ways through uniquely discovered tropes.
Mark Staff Brandl was born in 1955 near Chicago. Since 1988 he has lived primarily in Switzerland. He studied art, art history, literature and literary theory at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Columbia Pac University, and in 2011 received his Ph.D. in Art History magna cum laude from the University of Zurich. Currently he is an associate professor of art history and painting at the Kunstschule Liechtenstein and Higher Technical Academy for Art in St.Gallen, Switzerland.
Dr. Brandl has been actvive as an artist since 1980. He has international visibility, has won many awards, and has been widely published. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Egypt, the Caribbean including Paris, Moscow, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. His work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the St. Gallen Art Museum, The Thurgau Museum of Fine Art, The E.T.H. Graphic Collection in Zurich, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the International Museum of Cartoon Art, the Art Museum Olten, and others.
Dr. Brandl’s Ph.D dissertation is titled Metaphor(m): Engaging a Theory of Central Trope in Art. The thesis presented and embodied argues that the formal, technical and stylistic aspects of artists’ approaches concretely manifest content in culturally and historically antithetical ways through a uniquely discovered trope. His philosophy, termed metaphor(m) or the theory of central trope, is grounded in conceptual metaphor and cognitive science, particularly that of George Lakoff, as well as Harold Bloom’s idea of poetic misprision. Brandl’s concept is applied to painting, installation art, electronic media, the expanded text concept, art history timeline models, comics, and artistic cultural inheritance. The dissertation is in the traditional form of a book, and with the addition of paintings and sections in sequential comic form. The final presentation was an actual installation comprised mostly of paintings.
Mark G. Taber
is an artist based in New York City. He is interested in exposing the ways metaphors shape our conceptual vision of the world.
I was born in Rhode Island and educated at the Rhode Island School of Design. I make art to communicate ideas that are important to me. I want to get at serious questions using new technology to create art that is a feast for the eyes. There have been periods when I have been unable to make art because of practical challenges or intellectual roadblocks, but I have found ways of overcoming these issues. The practical and creative struggles I have fought to overcome have strengthened and enriched my work by challenging me to make it deeper, more elegant, and more carefully thought through. Today I proudly invite you to look at and enjoy the product of a lifetime of effort.