The Full Story
The coronavirus pandemic had a multi-colored, psychedelic painted lining for Mark.
While stuck in the house with his teenagers, he found sanity by setting up an artist’s studio on
his dining room table and producing his first full collection of multi-dimensional, multi-media
scenes. The inspiration for the work is a mixture of classical fine art training and mind-altering
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Viau filled the walls of his boyhood bedroom with Michael Jordan
murals. On the encouragement of his high school art teacher, he applied for and earned a
scholarship to study fine art at Wayne State University. But life got in the way after graduation,
and the skills he learned sat waiting.
He traveled throughout the United States, seeing the Grateful Dead and Phish, before making
South Florida home and raising triplets. As they
grew, he found himself doing art projects with them. Still, he focused on growing his business,
MV Pools, and enjoying life.
About five years ago, he was inspired by Phish’s famous red donuts to hand-paint a pair of
sneakers. When he shared his creation on his social media page, it went viral. A side hustle was
born. He began experimenting with different designs and methods of production, eventually
collaborating with a fractal artist.
When he visited a friend working in stain glass in Asheville during the pandemic, art really
started to come into focus. His friend had a substantial collection of the work of David Welker,
the artist who designed Phish’s Rift cover, among others. That art, along with works of Picasso,
Banksy, and Keith Haring, flowed together in a psychedelic swirl in Mark's mind — inspiring him
to return to his own creations.
Viau’s work plays with the depths of perception and juxtaposition of realities that create the
psychedelic experience. Combining earthy colors with edgy patterns, he incorporates a variety
of highly textured media and hand-crafted frames designed to invite a closer look. Viewers have
the opportunity to float, fall, and imagine with the artist’s interpretation of his waking dreams.
After all, he considers art simply a method of problem-solving. While at first art was just a
solution to the isolation of quarantine, now he uses the engulfing effort of creation to share
visual, mind-bending beauty with a constantly evolving style.