The smallness of human achievement by Mark Anthony Owen

The smallness of human achievement 


His new exhibition is huge –

like his canvases: each one, 30 feet square.

In a corner of every canvas,

a tiny image of some major feat of human

achievement. Fire. A wheel.

The Mona Lisa. Space travel. The internet.

When asked why the images

are depicted so small in comparison to the

vast, remaining space – all

of it painted black on each one of the 144

canvases – a gallery official

points to some blurb on a stand close by:

‘It’s comforting to think of

human achievements as the very pinnacle

of all accomplishment. Yet,

here, the artist confronts this thinking by

placing man’s greatest feats

in what he sees as proper cosmic context

(the negative blackness, his

metaphor for the universe’s immensity).’

Most go past pretty quickly,

keen to see dogs fucking in formaldehyde.


Mark Anthony Owen

 Mark Antony Owen works as a copywriter in the UK. When not prostituting his creativity, he treats muses to picnic lunches (with wine), hoping for their kisses. He’s only just started publishing his poetry – though probably not in anything you’ve heard of.


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