Born and raised in Michigan, Mark “TOPES” Thompson lived dangerously close to the famous Motor City – an influence that can be regularly seen in his art, in both subject matter and in the elaborate pin striping that adorns many of his works.
After graduating with an illustration degree from Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies, Mark worked in advertising for years as an illustrator and art director producing work for a multitude of large companies such as Disney, Mattel, the Detroit Tigers, Ameritech and Lincoln Mercury among many others.
Eschewing the posh Madmen lifestyle and throwing himself into the lowbrow art scene, TOPES has become a fixture at the many shows in and around the Midwest – HUKILAU, RelixRIOT, Torquefest, LowBrow Aloha, Tiki Underground, Detroit Autorama, and plenty of local and distant art, hot rod, tiki, comic and horror conventions and events. And while he has actually never been to the islands, the Polynesian style of those distant paradises appear seamlessly, and in harmony with classic hot rod, horror and lowbrow iconography.
TOPES (Thompson) having 2 older brothers and being a child of the 60’s, Rat Fink, MAD Magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, sci-fi, late-night horror shows and building model kits were all parts his childhood. And continues today! Although he says he’s “late to the lowbrow scene,” Mark has established himself with a fresh mashup of all things retro. Being a kid in that enviable 1960s era, he has taken these elements and tossed then into a veritable art salad with tiki culture tossed on top as the final dressing.
Mark works in a variety of mediums and surfaces, paintings, reclaimed wood, metal , even Digital! TOPESart has been purchased and collected internationally and has graced several national magazines, and Tiki bar walls…Topes works full time at his craft, and greatly appreciates you taking the time to check out his art, ENJOY!