Tattoos. That’s the first thing you notice about Mark. On his face and head!!! And then seemingly everywhere. The impulse to viscerally feel the pain that must have accompanied their creation is intense. And if, like me, you grew up in the Platteland, it takes a few sessions on the couch to process. Opinionated! that’s the second thing you notice. Whereas skirting controversy has been my lifelong habit, getting into the deep end of a conversation with Mark is like strapping into a rollercoaster with you eyelids pinned back by masking tape. You’re never in any doubt where you stand. And don’t think about being PC; if you hold any postmodern Marxist tendencies, well get ready for a revolution baby. “I’m so over it”. Complex, irreverent, warm, full of humour, dark, weightless, intense – so many fabulous contradictions. And this all gives life to his art, which should adorn every wall ever built. www.markrautenbach.com.