RMCAD Graduate Mark Fitzsimmons Turns Art into a Conversation

For interdisciplinary artist and RMCAD graduate Mark Fitzsimmons, the goal of creating art is to spark a conversation.

Prior to enrolling in the Fine Arts Program at RMCAD, Fitzsimmons served in the military, an experience that strongly influences his work.

“All of the art I create comes from being a veteran and this disconnect that not only I feel from being home, but the disconnect that people feel from conflict,” he said.

With his works, he aims to start deep and meaningful conversations about his experiences as a veteran with others “without being shamed of my ignorance of their experiences and their ignorance of my experiences.”

Fitzsimmons creates work across multiple mediums, allowing him to choose what best fits the content.

“If it requires an immersive installation that takes up the entire room to drive the point home, that’s what I’ll do. If it takes a 2” by 2” painting, then that’s what I’ll do,” he said.

This exploration eventually led him to performance art, a medium where “it’s much easier to find empathy with [the content] when you see somebody else go through an action,” he said.

In one of his performance art pieces, “Hard Comforts,” he aims to show some of the effects veterans experience when they return home.

“We’re trying to live our life and we’re trying to rebuild some sense of familiarity and comfort in a world that has become wholly foreign to us,” he said.

Hear more from Fitzsimmons in the interview below: