Detroit Artist Marcus Glenn Captures Music on Canvas

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Marcus Glenn, Video

Many artists say they use music as an inspiration, but Marcus Glenn takes it a step further. With his textured figures and bold command of color, Glenn actually captures the essence of music—the tempo, the rhythm, the emotions—in his artwork.

According to Glenn, “I don’t play an instrument, but I do play through my paintbrushes.” You can get an inside glimpse at Glenn’s musical creative process in Park West’s latest artist video.

Marcus Glenn at work.

Marcus Glenn at work.

Glenn has been part of the Park West family of artists for over twenty years. He was born and raised in Detroit and still maintains a studio in Corktown, the city’s oldest neighborhood.

Collectors love how Glenn draws from various artistic traditions—everything from Cubism to illustration—and reinterprets them like a jazz ensemble, creating his own idiosyncratic visual lens. In 2005, his work was featured in his first museum exhibition held at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The museum now hosts one of his paintings in their permanent collection.

"Spectator at Tarkay Exhibition," Marcus Glenn

“Spectator at Tarkay Exhibition,” Marcus Glenn

The undeniable musicality of his art was honored in 2014 when Glenn was chosen as the official artist of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. At the time, he told Park West, “The Grammys asked me to represent music’s biggest night, so, for me, it was a big honor and truly an exciting moment in my career as a professional artist.”

"Three for the Groove," Marcus Glenn

“Three for the Groove,” Marcus Glenn

While visiting a recent Park West event, Glenn told the story of another big moment in his career—the day he met Park West Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione.

“I first got introduced to him at his Southfield gallery,” Glenn recalled. “I used to visit the gallery often and one of his employees recommended me to him.”

“Eventually, Albert asked me to show some of my work at a local event he was doing. He asked, ‘Do you have ten to fifteen pieces ready to go?’ And, of course, I said, ‘Yes,’ even though I didn’t. I was working at Chrysler at the time, so I’d come home and just paint and paint and paint.”

Glenn applies the figure on one of his trademark "Flat Life" creations.

Glenn applies the figure on one of his trademark “Flat Life” creations.

“After the event, Albert calls me and says, ‘Do you want the good news or the bad news?’ I said, ‘Good news.’ He tells me, ‘The good news is that people liked your work and we can definitely sell it. The bad news is we sold ten of your paintings and we need a lot more… quick.’”

Glenn laughed, “We could all use bad news like that.”

Today, Glenn has thousands of collectors all over the world and continues to bring his unique jazz-inspired style to his unforgettable works of art.

To collect the art of Marcus Glenn, contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or

"Piano Man," Marcus Glenn

“Piano Man,” Marcus Glenn

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Showing 6 comments
  • Brenda Dalton

    Love the new video of Marcus Glenn and his work. His work is fresh and Modern with movement and color. I only own one but I love it!

  • Michael Woolf

    I love his way of land Art down and layering it I have a piece called sexy jazz that reminds me of my son who passed that plays the saxophone and my granddaughter who is an artist and does guitar I live in the bay area and I love the landscape

  • Sandia Collazo

    Proud owner of one of the “Three For the Groove” pieces. It is the centerpiece of my music room and wonderful conversation when the guest comes to visit.
    Looking forward to purchasing another of his works in the near future.

  • Stuart Britton

    I just got the Keys to the Dance 2005. It’s haunting and as a musician, I think it captures the essence of music & dance perfectly. I am also interested in Green Moon Red Scarf for the same reason.

  • Stuart Britton

    I will be meeting Marcus this weekend at an exhibition/auction in NH. I can’t wait for the event!

  • Mary Pat Roy

    Marcus, your art still thrills my soul every bit as much as it did the first time I saw your work. I hear the music coming off the canvas. Viewing “Art Viewing Art” in our home brings back fond memories of meeting you and Yolanda at the Southfield gallery years back. I hope all is well with you and your family.

    All the best,
    Mary Pat and John Roy

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