Bitter Lemon © Mark Denton Esq

Bitter Lemon © Mark Denton Esq

London’s Jealous Gallery has launched a new exhibition of Mark Denton’s ‘daily doings’, the artworks he’s created in his spare time. We discover more about the show, why it’s titled ‘shit’ and what to expect.

Our lives are made up of creative fragments and moments, yet few of us hold onto the souvenirs that define our existence. Not ad creative Mark Denton. He’s kept all of the creative doodles he’s penned over the years, and now he’s releasing The Shit Show, an art exhibition to commemorate his creative progress and prowess in a collection that presents his ideas crafted into existence.

Featuring several unseen artworks produced by Denton, including some of his favourites that reveal his early insatiable desire to influence the world. The archive contains family shoelaces knotted into artistic interpretations of cobwebs, bubblegum cards of superheroes from a parallel universe, and limited-edition screen prints, among other absurd pieces.

It’s Mark’s shit, and it’s his show, which aims to highlight the voracity he creates and the unlimited capacity of his creative evolution.

Documenting his ever-expansive thirst for creativity, surreal art and curiosity, the exhibition charters different stages in Denton’s career – reflecting on his knitwear designs, his cartoon furniture and personalised Heinz soup tins, all creations that he dreamed up long before he got into advertising.

Fuck Off – The Meeting © Mark Denton Esq

Fuck Off – The Meeting © Mark Denton Esq

Bash & Bif © Mark Denton Esq

Bash & Bif © Mark Denton Esq

Old Mod, His Generation © Mark Denton Esq

Old Mod, His Generation © Mark Denton Esq

So, if you’re fascinated to learn who the man behind the advertising genius is, it’s a perfect opportunity to step into his world. Having had his work featured at the V&A, the RA, and the Saatchi Gallery, Denton’s personal creative endeavours have filled many a filing cabinet. And for the first time, they’re available for public perusal.

Denton has proactively committed to his creativity despite hailing from a family of scrap merchants after deciding that that was not the career path for him. After gaining a formal education in graphics, photography and technical drawing, Denton continued down a less conventional path as a paste-up artist for knitter’s magazine Knitters Digest before turning his hand as an assistant typographer and visualiser at Leo Burnett and then embracing being a non-conformist and making it as a creative director of his own agency a decade later.

Denton has always been busy designing everything in his world – whether it’s clothes, jewellery, wallpaper or toilet roll, nothing was spared.

Voleman, Thwack © Mark Denton Esq

Voleman, Thwack © Mark Denton Esq

The Shit Show exhibition highlights the Jealous gallery’s recognition of established and emerging UK and international artists and seeks to develop new artistic talent. It’s the perfect backdrop for stepping into Denton’s whacky world and opening your eyes to see endless possibilities in the mundane.

So don’t delay; make sure you head to The Shit Show, which is on now until 26 February 2023 at Jealous East, 53 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT.

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