John-Mark Gleadow was born in 1976. By the time he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware in 1999, he had already achieved gallery representation. Renowned for his skill as a draftsman and ability for creating hyper-realistic oil paintings, he has gone on to garner various awards, solo shows, and grants.
Early influences on Gleadow were Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali, and Vermeer. Gleadow recounts, "I fell in love with the beauty of their imagery and have always been in awe of their amazing gift for depicting reality, or their version of it. My desire is that my abilities would be used for creating works that are beautiful and that, when viewed as a whole, convince the viewer not only that what they’re seeing is real but that there’s truth in it. For that reason I find strict photorealism a somewhat unsatisfying undertaking."
Beginning with still lives, Gleadow’s paintings soon came to incorporate portraiture as their backbone. His mastery of the medium and his trademark use of vibrant colors has been made even more impressive due to his colorblindness. His most recent series has fused the centuries old theme of painting book spines with his love of doing figurative work, allowing him to broaden the thematic horizons of his paintings. Working this way allows Gleadow limitless subject matter and how it makes for a logical way of juxtaposing entirely different topics, producing a work of art that’s beautiful as a whole, not just aesthetically, but thematically as well. Gleadow puts great thought into the collection of themes for each painting, sometimes spending weeks plotting the subjects. The product becomes a true and beautiful enigma that remains thought-inspiring no matter how many times it is viewed.