Artist Lecture: Mark Pinto

IMG_3205Mark Pinto’s work mostly ranges in the area of diorama and photography. His photo illustrations use G.I. Joe action figures to portray the issue of initiating veterans back into society and the community. His work really intends to explore the role and aura of being a veteran returned to America after his service.

Pinto’s piece “Joes come home” was one of my favorites that he discussed. The Joes in the photos looked surreal, but also painfully realistic. Their painted, sculpted faces and expressions really helped get Pinto’s point across; the veterans are posed as this heroic figure in the community, but it alienates them and shuts them down from speaking about the realities of their service. Veterans are almost used as propaganda puppets and the G.I. Joe figures are an element of pro war that is introduced to the male population at a young and impressionable age.

The “Wheels” piece was also extremely interesting and thought-provoking. The flipbooks and the programmed coordination of the images that the artwork landed on reminded me of a slot machine. I’m not sure of that was what Pinto intended the work to be reminiscent of or not. Pinto said that he meant for the work to portray men’s fascination with war. Growing up playing with female-oriented toys and dolls, it was interesting to see Pinto’s interpretation of the male childhood. I’ve never thought about how boys’ toys were very geared toward engaging them in violence and making war seem almost like a natural next step after the tank cars and video games.

Pinto’s works were extremely intriguing and I wish he would display the G.I. Joe scenes he creates in diorama formats. I think it could really add more than just another dimension to the scenes.


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