Mark Kelner Dollar City at Beacon Gallery

by | Sep 27, 2021 | Blog post

Beacon Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition of artist Mark Kelner’s, “Dollar City.” Opening October 1st, Beacon Gallery will host an opening reception for “Dollar City” that evening, in conjunction with First Friday.  The show will run through October 31st, 2021. 

“Dollar City” functions as a trick mirror, reflecting a slightly distorted version of reality that allows the viewer to parse out the invisible socio-economic and cultural elements of control embedded within today’s urban landscape and the built environment.

How do we define American slogans right now?  In the twilight of a reality TV presidency, Kelner argues that phrases such as “In God We Trust” and “We the People” no longer reflect snappy sound bites that project one’s ideals concerning our national identity.

Instead, the ubiquity of everyday signage – empty words that serve a higher purpose in promoting commerce and salesmanship – ring true as markers of how we Americans see ourselves.  Paintings that proclaim “Going Out of Business,”“Fast Cash Loans,” “Last 3 Days,” and “Everything Must Go,” function as both reimagined real-to-life signs and as fine art designed to induce desire, while commenting on contemporary capitalist jargon.

In Kelner’s highly textured and archival canvases, deeply saturated hues capture an authentic take on 21st century American society. The relationship between text and its visual expression is both intentional and measured.  In all, Kelner presents a unique take on sloganeering and Americanization.

“The nature of propaganda is a familiar theme in my practice, one that often  documents and distorts imagery ranging from art history to pop culture to reveal their inherent contradictions as familiar symbols of contemporary life: their false representation of ideas, and as false idols propping up a system of consumerism where things and people are commodities.,” says the artist.

For information on the gallery please visit –

Mark Kelner Dollar City, Studio Installation