Biography – DRAFT

“Hours are happiest when hands are busiest”
Charlie Chan’s Murder Cruise (1940)


Mark Landis is somewhat of a chameleon. Demure, slight in stature, always ready with a quip from a classic film or old adage — Mark has an impish charm that is somehow instinctive and deliberate at the same time. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of art history, and is capable of copying great works of art in a matter of minutes. He spent nearly three decades duplicating famous paintings and donating them to art museums all over the country, while posing as a philanthropist or Jesuit priest. But his cons were always well-intentioned. Mark, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager, just wanted to be liked and respected while honoring his deceased parents through his own brand of philanthropy.

When his paintbrush touches the canvas, Mark comes alive. He is fueled by his passion, and by the overwhelmingly positive response he receives with each finished artwork. Life has been a battle for Mark, but he is rising to the challenge.

Painting gives him purpose, and opens endless doors to meaningful human connection. To that end, this site was created so Mark can be commissioned for works and offer his talents to the public. From lifelike portraits to idyllic landscapes, Mark brings remarkable precision and whimsical flair to every work of art. And with the sale of each original work, a portion of the proceeds goes toward raising awareness about mental illness. Mark paints a little bit of himself into every picture, leaving us with a piece of his fascinating and inspiring story.

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Friends of Mark Landis

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Mark is surrounded by a loving and supportive group of friends who have his best interest at heart. They have showed their continued support by spending quality time with Mark — from visiting him to travelling with him to attending events featuring his work.

If you would like to send Mark a personal note, please use the Contact form and select Personal Note to Mark from the Subject dropdown. Mark’s friends will be sure that all encouraging messages make their way to Mark.