The Easel

How Art Star Mark Grotjahn Became Art Star Mark Grotjahn: By Repainting Signs for Local Mom-and-pop Stores in L.A.

The way artists arrive at a unique style that defines their work is, by its nature, mysterious. Transformations that look logical after the event are never preordained. For one rising American artist this journey involved painting copies of small shop signs. “The young Jasper Johns talked about this moment of breaking through to making one’s own work. He said, “You do what is helpless and unavoidable.”