Masters of the American West, Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, 2018
In his first year at the Masters of the American West at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, Mark Maggiori brought several key paintings that would help establish his work within the world of Western art. One of them was The Crossing, showing a chaotic river crossing with dozens of figures on horses and nearly as many covered wagons. It was an ambitious work, particularly with splashing water in the foreground and detailed mountain peaks in the top half of the image. “After I finished the mountains, I had to put the whole bottom part aside for maybe two months,” Maggiori told Southwest Art. “Then, one morning, I told myself to just do it, step by step, like climbing a gigantic staircase. It took me maybe three weeks of long, hard, sweaty days and lots of coffee. But it was one of those epic paintings I want to do once in a while.”
Born in France, Maggiori first experienced the American West from the inside of a car during a month-long trip across the United States. He was 15 years old, and the journey left a profound impression on the young man. Back in France, Maggiori detoured into other professions, including animation, photography and the lead singer of the rock band Pleymo, which was a sensation in Europe. After the band went on a hiatus, Maggiori moved briefly to Kingman, Arizona, where he would slowly piece together the beginnings of his art career. It would soon take off like a rocket. Gallery shows, museum exhibitions, auctions, hugely successful print releases—his growing fanbase helped make sure each new work was a hit. This upward momentum culminated in a March 2023 show that sold more than $3 million of new paintings and drawings. It holds the record as the most successful solo show in Western art history.
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Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.
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