Mark Beard (b. 1956 in Salt Lake City) is an American artist. Beard works in prints, paint, and as a sculptor, in addition to being a noted stage set designer. His portraits, nudes, bronzes, and handicrafted books were exhibited all over the world.
He designed more than 20 theatrical sets in 1986–1997 in New York City, London, Cologne, Vienna, and Frankfurt.
Beard is noted for his objection to the fact that while it was once common for artists pass through different stages or period, success being known for one thing and turning yourself into a brand. Beard therefore has developed a number of distinct artist personalities, each with a detailed biography and portrait photograph, to enable himself to work in a variety of styles and mediums
His different artist personalities include:
Bruce Sargeant (1898–1938), (a spoof on John Singer Sargent) who died in a tragic wrestling accident;
Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon (1849–1930), French beaux-art painter who was the teacher of Bruce Sargeant;
Edith Thayer Cromwell (1893–1962), an English friend and colleague of Michallon;
Brechtholdt Streeruwitz (1890–1973), rival of Cromwell from Vienna; and
Peter Coulter (b. 1948), New York-based artist who was influenced by Cromwell and Streeruwitz's work.
All artists work in a different style, for example Streeruwitz is expressionist and more somber, while Coulter is postmodern art.
Beard's work by Bruce Sargeant, such as large paintings, friezes and a bronze sculpture, installed since 2005 are featured in Abercrombie & Fitch's flagship stores in New York, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and in Tokyo.
His works are in museum collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Albertina, as well as in Princeton, Harvard, and Yale universities and many others, and in more than 200 private collections such as Ralph Lauren. He is represented by ClampArt in New York City, where he resides in a studio in Hell's Kitchen that he bought with his partner, James Manfred.
A visit to Mark Beard’s studio is like discovering Michelangelo’s lair: oil paintings layer the walls, lifedrawings litter the table at the feet of heroic bronzes; ceramics, architectural maquettes are everywhere; virtuosity, in every medium. And then it gets even more interesting.
Mark’s talent is so overflowing that, years ago, he needed to channel himself into alter egos. Mark invented the persona of “Bruce Sargeant,” an imagined English artist, contemporary of E. M. Forster, Rupert Brooke, and John Sloan. Mark also created Bruce Sargeant’s teacher, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon, a 19th-century French Academist. Michallon also taught Edith Thayer Cromwell, an American avant-gardeist; and Brechtolt Steeruwitz, the German Expressionist, a most complex personality. Peter Coulter, the newest persona, represents the "third generation" as he was taught briefly by Thayer Cromwell and Streerowitz. The style of each of these artists is individual, brilliant and true.
Mark Beard is unprecedented, but not singular. Accomplished in every medium, he is more than a complete artist—he is at least six.