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Mark Snyder’s ‘Auto-Cannibalism’ finds nostalgia in masculinity

Buffalo artist Mark Snyder’s latest installation, “Auto-Cannibalism,” is meant to represent a nostalgic side of the masculine figure through the use of male iconography. The exhibit is a mixture of digital prints, drawings, paintings and conceptual mixed media display pieces.

Mark Snyder at Buffalo Arts Studio. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Mark Snyder at Buffalo Arts Studio. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)


The three large display pieces are possibly the most striking of the entire installation, each of them turning the male gaze back onto itself.

Mark Snyder, "Father's Father," mixed media (2016).

Mark Snyder, "Father's Father," mixed media (2016).

One such piece, “Father’s Father,” resembles a workshop table. The innumerable items thrown across the table are those one would expect to find in a garage: drawings by Snyder, copies of a dictionary, car manuals, an old Sony portable radio.

The largest and most noticeable of these conceptual pieces is the “Carcass 318.” The piece consists of an aged engine block hoisted up by a semi rusted chain hovering over a pan of expired engine oil. This piece not only is large visually, but evokes the sense of masculinity and nostalgia on a multisensory level, as the engine oil spreads its pungent scent through the entirety of Snyder’s allotted space.

"The Project" by Mark Snyder.

"The Project" by Mark Snyder.

Snyder’s most personal piece may be one called “The Project,” the skeleton of a drag racer resting upon two drag tires. The piece, is nostalgic for Snyder in that his first car, which he bought when he was 17, was modified for drag purposes. It also should evoke memories of his father, whose hatred of his first car coaxed Snyder to buy his father’s car and combine the two vehicles, “cannibalizing the remainder of his car’s carcass to friends and others.” It is called “The Project” because Snyder intends to add more to it in future by turning it into an actual drag racer that functions as a plasma speaker that recites stories.

The installation also may have its aims pointed toward showcasing the conflict between the interior and exterior bodies. The hand drawings by Snyder are nearly all blueprints of automobile manufacturing or sketches of car components. The digital prints that hang adjacent juxtapose the surreal from the real male symbols and icons. “Bomb Bomb Bomb” depicts a cartoon-like cherry bomb inside a true atomic bomb shape surrounded by man-like stick figures.

Buffalo Arts Studio is located inside the Tri-Main Center, a former Model-T factory, which gives the exhibit a near-perfect home. Much like one sees their childhood home, this automobile-focused exhibit’s place in the Tri-Main Center adds to the goal of nostalgia Mark Snyder was aiming for.


What: “Auto-Cannibalism” by Mark Snyder

Where: Buffalo Arts Studio, Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main St., Suite 500

Through: March 4

Info: 833-4450,,

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