Mark Bradley Bealmear (b. 1953) was raised in Portales, NM and attended ENMU followed by Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara CA. In the late ‘70s – early ’80s he owned a commercial photography studio in Santa Fe. In 1982 he married and shortly thereafter moved his family to New York City, living in Greenwich Village for 22 years.
While in NYC Bealmear was a prolific advertising and catalog photographer, working in large-format film and digital formats for top luxury brands. He was hired to set up and run the Tiffany & Co. studio on the top floor of their flagship Fifth Avenue store where he remained for five years, producing images for ads featured prominently in the world’s fashion magazines. He worked with Jacqueline Onassis, who edited several beautiful books about Tiffany, along with many of New York’s other top art directors and designers.
Walking uptown to work one morning in the spring of 1989, Bealmear experienced what he has found necessary to describe as a “vision” – in the middle of 40th Street. Sitting on the steps of the NY Public Library to attempt to write about what he had experienced, he realized that his life had suddenly and dramatically changed. Although he would continue to photograph, design, and launch various start-ups (Bunjii Design in NYC; High Desert Properties, The Santa Fe Dreambook, and Honey P. Nutty in Santa Fe) the philosophy he had acquired that day would guide his life going forward. His startups (never very successful, tbh) were seen simply as ways to provide financial backing to explore those ideas.
The philosophy seen in the vision is this: Civilization could have begun by guiding every action by the question “Does my action harm life and Earth?”
Bealmear left NYC in 2004 and moved with his wife back to Santa Fe in 2006. He continued to photograph, both commercially and as fine art for several years. During that time he began to work with female models to photograph in active figurative studies. These images serve as the basis for his fine art illustration series Mythical Creatures. In 2014 he began to paint and discovered the medium allowed him to comment on our species and its ways in an abstract way that suited him. In 2016 he sold his photo gear so as not to be distracted, and began painting full time.
The artist prefers to work in series. Painting projects include Manifesto (2014, six works), Composition (2016, 13 works), Días de Trueno (2017, 14 works), Angel of Earth and Life (2017, seven works), Flowers (2017, 14 works), Noches de los Ángeles Vengativos (2018, seven works), Revisions (2016-18, 119 works), New Atmospheres (2018-19, 41 works), Astral Vagabond (2019, 17 works), Studies for a New Atmosphere (2019, 300 works), and The Reckoning (2018-19, 38 works). All may be viewed on this website.
Bealmear had two works included in the group exhibition Axle Indoors at Peters Projects in Santa Fe in 2015, and several works from his continuing series The Reckoning were shown at the group exhibition Outrage at City of Mud Gallery, Santa Fe, in 2018. He donated 300 small works on paper dealing with climate change, Studies for a New Atmosphere, to 231 art museums worldwide in the summer of 2019. During the month of November 2019 his series The Reckoning was featured in a solo pop-up exhibition at FOMA Santa Fe.
Bealmear’s work continues to be driven by his feelings regarding the effects of our species on the planet and its life. His paintings are found in private collections in the UK and the US.