Ratings: Artist and stylist Carly Mark loves a Shake Shack Burger, her Rescue Chihuahua Terrier and everything HR Giger

Much of the art world revolves around issues of value, and not just in terms of valuations and price tags. These days we ask ourselves: What is worth our time, our energy, our attention, and yes, our hard-earned cash?

What is the math you do to determine the meaning and value of something? What moves you? What enriches your life? In this new series, we ask people from the art world and beyond about their assessments on a personal level.

A few years ago, Carly Mark, an artist born in Detroit and living in New York, started a parallel project that combines fashion and fine art. Since then, it has grown into a full-fledged, sustainability-focused ready-to-wear brand: Puppets and Puppets, named after Mark’s beloved Chihuahua terrier rescued, also nodding to the (literal and figurative) use of puppets by the fashion industry.

A cheese hat from Mark's Puppets and Puppets Spring-Summer 2023 collection.  Courtesy of the brand.

A cheese hat from Mark’s Puppets and Puppets Spring-Summer 2023 collection. Courtesy of the brand.

For this, Mark designs sculptural clothes from dead fabrics and accessories with a absurd sense of humor, inspired by some of his favorite things. Often it happens to be food: he thinks of cocktail dresses in the shape of teacups; Mary Janes on wedges of what looks like Swiss cheese; purses adorned with mock bananas, chocolate chip cookies, fried eggs, and bagels.

“I love a little low-high,” he once told the Taglio. “I wanted to design a Wisconsin cheese hat but in beeswax and beautifully sculpted. Why why not?

There’s also a bag of gold tinsel, because it’s the season. Before the holidays officially began, the artist and designer, who was named the CFDA’s Emerging American Designer of the Year for 2022, took a moment to answer our ratings questionnaire.

What’s the last thing you splurged on?

An HR Giger screenprint from the Lomex Gallery: Biomechanoid (Biomechanoid Portfolio, 2), 1969. I love everything Giger; I’m huge Alien also fans, to which he contributed greatly.

HR Giger, <i>Biomechanoid (Biomechanoid Portfolio, 2)</i> (1969);  silkscreen on black silver.  Courtesy of HR Giger Estate and Lomex.” width=”741″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-741×1024.jpg 741w , https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-217×300.jpg 217w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid- 1112×1536.jpg 1112w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-1483×2048.jpg 1483w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/ 11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-36×50.jpg 36w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-1390×1920.jpg 1390w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news- upload/2022/11/HRG018_2_Biomechanoid-scaled.jpg 1853w” sizes=”(max-width: 741px) 100vw, 741px”/></p>
<p id=HR Giger, Biomechanoid (Biomechanoid Portfolio, 2) (1969); silkscreen on black silver. Courtesy of HR Giger Estate and Lomex.

What are you saving for?

Vacation days in Japan. I always feel very recharged and inspired when I go there.

What would you buy if you found $100?

Dinner at the Shake Shack for my friends. They have gluten free burger buns, a must for me.

What makes you feel like a million bucks?

Sleep a full night and go to the gym.

What do you think is your greatest asset?


What do you value most in a work of art?


<i>Hammer Projects: Janiva Ellis</i>, installation view.  Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, through January 22, 2023. Photo: Charles White-JWPictures.com.” width=”1024″ height=”683″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload /2022/11/Janiva-Ellis-install-Charles_White-jwpictures.com-0406-04-X-Large-2000-px.jpg-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news- upload/2022/11/Janiva-Ellis-install-Charles_White-jwpictures.com-0406-04-X-Large-2000-px.jpg-300×200.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news -upload/2022/11/Janiva-Ellis-install-Charles_White-jwpictures.com-0406-04-X-Large-2000-px.jpg-50×33.jpg 50w, https://news.artnet.com/app/ news-upload/2022/11/Janiva-Ellis-install-Charles_White-jwpictures.com-0406-04-X-Large-2000-px.jpg.jpg 1500w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px “/></p>
<p id=Hammer Projects: Janiva Ellis, installation view. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, through January 22, 2023. Photo: Charles White-JWPictures.com.

Who is an emerging artist worthy of everyone’s attention?

Janiva Ellis. Her work has such a powerful energy. Being in front is great.

Who is an overlooked artist who hasn’t gotten his due yet?

Lisa Frank. I have a lot of nostalgia linked to her work. I took her satchels to school and collected her stickers.

What is, in your opinion, the most overrated thing in the art world?

Going to the openings. I really enjoy watching the work, which is impossible to do in an opening.

What is your most valuable asset?

My puppet dog. He is a rescue chihuahua terrier. I think he’s about seven now. We sleep in a bunch of dogs together every night.

Mark's beloved dog, Puppet.  Courtesy of Carly Mark.

Mark’s beloved dog, Puppet. Courtesy of Carly Mark.

What was your best investment?

My brand.

What is something small that means the world to you?

A LY message from a friend.

What’s not worth the hype?


What do you think is a worthy cause?

Self-Care: Therapy, Pilates, and lots of sleep.

What do you aspire to?


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