Marc Ranger is based in Toronto and is a multi-disciplinary creative. He illustrates and sells his work through Instagram (@themarcranger), where he also expresses his artistic inclinations in a variety of other ways. Somehow, his selfies, fashion editorials and visual art all seem to work together to abstractly answer the question: Who is Marc Ranger?
Making a ‘description’ is one of the things I love and fear the most; I feel this way in regards to art and even more so when I’m asked to describe myself! While I appreciate description as a form of agency granted to artists, I’m far more interested in the variety of viewers’ interpretations. Who do you think I am? Let me challenge you!
What motivated you to add “The” before your name (The Marc Ranger)?
It’s not that deep to be honest, haha. @marcranger was occupied by a user who’s account I assume was created by their granddaughter once upon a time, never to be visited again. After several attempts to get my handle back, I settled on “the”. I’m actually always a little embarrassed when someone asks for my handle... Let’s be real, it sounds pompous as all hell! I have made peace with it though, because in a way, it’s a cheeky nod the themes of narcissism and celebrity culture I play with in my work. It’s a little extra ou-la-la and I’m here for that—why not!
Your art has a very clear and consistent aesthetic. When and how did this start to take shape?
Making art for me is like a guessing game; I very rarely plan out the details of a piece. For me, aesthetic is the direct result of the series of decisions an artist makes as they create. It’s almost like the project in front of me is constantly asking “are you sure you want to do that?”. If you’re painting, for instance, every brush stroke is a deliberate choice that either reinforces or deviates from your current “aesthetic”. I think that through iteration, I learned what I disliked making and consequently, I was left with my preferences—my “style”. As cliché as this may sound, this started to take place at the age of two when I would relentlessly scribble what seemed to be wrong-handed fashion illustrations at my little window-side artist’s table in my childhood living-room. The editorial sensibility, edge and melodramatic nature of my work developed from thereon!
What was the experience like to sell your first piece?
Biter-sweet and confusing to be frank. Although very proud, being new to it all, I didn’t know how to price my work or even how to determine its value! Did I want to let go of something I was proud of? Back then, not really. If you were to ask me the same question today, I think the novelty of my art and my desire to hold onto it wears off relatively quickly. I have my fun with it during the creation, then it’s time for somebody else to love it and to see it in a whole new light. I know they appreciate the piece far more than I ever would if it was sitting in my archives.
What roll does your own personal identity play in your art. Does your own self-image inspire your craft?
To put it simply, my art is a snapshot of both my heart and my mind during the moment of it’s creation. I am my art. Rather than an inspiration, my self-image is simply an extension of my work. If that’s legs, leather and big hair—so be it!
You live in Toronto. What is the creative culture like there?
Well, since moving here from the very rural, very French-Canadian Sudbury, Ontario four years ago, It’s sad yet exciting to admit that I haven’t had the chance to sink my teeth into the creative culture Toronto has to offer. Now that I’m no longer at the mercy of my undergrad in Design, it’s time to fucking explore, learn and collaborate!
What are your ambitions for the future?
These days it’s all about exploring as much as I can. I want to discover interesting, new applications for my art work and see where it can lend itself. I’ve been particularly obsessed with finding ways to merge my analogue artwork with the world of editorial fashion through photo work and audiovisuals. It keeps the digital work interesting and makes the analog work adaptable. I’m currently working on teaming up with photographers and make-up artists to bring the art from my latest book, “Necessary Interruptions”, into a new and exploratory photographic (and maybe cinematographic?) context. I’m calling this book my ‘editorial reference guide’ which I think is a fun new take on an art book. I’m excited to see how the fashionable sensibility of my illustrations will work in conjunction with my collaborators’ interpretations. For any photographers, MUA’s, videographers and stylists reading this, i’m dying to hear your ideas, let’s make something beautiful together!
courtesy MARC RANGER
interview ANNA MCCORRISTON
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