Born in Montreal in 1960, John F. Marok graduated from John Abbott College and Concordia University with a special emphasis on painting. He is a recipient of the Queens Jubilee Medal, has been awarded Grants by the Canada Council and from Quebec's ministère de la Culture and has painted and completed research residencies in Europe and Canada. An accomplished, full-time painter, Marok has been working and exhibiting for 40 years. In 1980, Marok was jury selected at 19 years old for the 3rd Biennale of Quebec Painting, held at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. The following year he was represented by the Grunwald Gallery, a prestigious commercial gallery in Toronto and participated in an important exhibit of Quebec painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). At 22 years of age he was given his first one-man exhibition at Grunwald and received much critical acclaim and commercial success. Subsequent to several other exhibitions John's work became nationally recognized and collected by several museums across Canada, namely: Musée d'art contemporain du Quebec (Montreal), Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa), Musée du Québec (Québec), MOCCA (Toronto), Nickel Arts Museum (Calgary).
“In my paintings, I channel my inner world and I explore and examine my relationship with the people, places and things around me. I have a deep and abiding love and respect for art history, particularly cubism and fauvism and I often depict narratives of love, reflections on solitude, childhood memories and my work is abound with historical cameos and references. I’d say the main protagonists are individuals, places and, even, objects, that are imbued with an enigmatic sense of wonder and self reflection. My paintings are the final result of much reworking. Brushes, hands and palette knives are the tools employed in the service of colours in my attempt to energize the surface and to give it a sense of vitality. A close friend of mine has said that my work seems to be manifestations of my inner identity, of my true self. “That’s sounds likely”, I’ve replied. “because when I’ve finished a painting, it often seems to me a stranger that I feel I’ve previously met. That curious, magical and transcendent feeling of déjà-vu”.