I had an ah-ha moment early in my life. My dad bought a book for me that opened my mind to great art being created. It was titled something like "American Masters." Here is my dad, an artist himself, giving me a book on artists other than his own artist friends, and very good artists at that. He told me to study these artists who are making a difference in the art world, and not the local-yokals. (living in Houston) Included in that book was Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Willem deKooning, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Edward Keinholtz, Joseph Cornell, and a few more. I studied those guys. (I eventually met three of them) I was hooked. I wanted to create relevant work like them. Each one of them was pushing their own limits to reach a new place in art. That is what I am interested in as well. I am interested in being an artist of my own time and expressing that narrative in my own way.

- Mark Andrew Allen