• Harlem Underground (map)
  • 745 Queen Street West
  • Toronto, ON
  • Canada

You're in Our House Now! 

Enjoy the finer things in life. Take in artwork while snacking on mini Chicken n Waffles, sipping wine and listening to Live Jazz by Neil Brathwaite and Friends all night long. 

With artwork by Mark Stoddard Freedom Fighters Collection

Mark Stoddart

Mark Stoddart’s work has been exhibited at several galleries and private events around Toronto in recent years. His portfolio of paintings has received widespread acclaim which eventually led to his talents being showcased on BRAVO TV’s series “Star Portraits.” His collection of work combines a passion for music and sports with a spirit of social activism and a commitment to “educate, empower and unite.”

Mark pursued his formal training in the Interpretive Illustration program at Sheridan College in Oakville. Early 1993 Mark adopted the alias “Kurupt”, focused the next 15 years of his life on graphic design. He worked on clothing and digital design for prominent clients such as Much Music, Cadbury, Nike, Converse, BMG and Universal Music. Although, this work proved to be rewarding and lucrative, deep down Mark knew he had strayed from his true artistic passion - painting.

Tragically, it was the sudden death of a friend in 2005 that caused Mark’s ultimate re-dedication to the canvas. Faced with the finite nature of life, he picked up his brush once again and charged himself with the challenge of re-introducing society to one passionate art form, Jazz, through another, paint. Mark long felt that Jazz was a musical genre whose roots have been torn and discarded over the years, and sought to ignite a resurgence of appreciation for this classic and often overlooked artistic expression.

Since dedicating his career to art in 2006, Mark has spent much of his time developing the 40@40 Collection, a collection of 40 paintings of significant Black musicians and athletes that Mark compiled before the end of his 40th year, in Dec 2009. The initial paintings in the series focused on musicians, particularly jazz icons such as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, rhythm and blues artist Ray Charles and rock icon Jimi Hendrix. Homage: Celebrating the Journey was the sports segment of the portfolio, featuring legendary athletes including Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Satchel Paige, Fergie Jenkins & Dr. John Carlos

Since 2011, Mark has been blessed to work with legendary American sprinter, author, and advocate for human rights, Dr. John Carlos. Carlos, along with Tommie Smith and Peter Norman are immortalized in history for their silent protest held on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The image of Smith and Carlos raising their black fists in solidarity on the podium is an iconic moment in history now remembered throughout the world.

Mark is also the founder of L.I.W.I. the acronym for LIVE IT WEAR IT a Toronto based clothing company. With a vision to create a brand representative of an individual’s journey to strive for their passion, dreams and desires, L.I.W.I. encourages individuals to take that leap of faith and believe in whatever they are or want to do; and who they are as a person. Thus, the saying “LIVE IT WEAR IT".

Mark continues to evolve as an artist constantly looking to expand on his services to the community. 

From visiting local schools throughout the GTA to educating students on the importance of visual literacy. Mark’s vision is to create a brand representative of an individual’s journey to strive for their passion, dreams and desires, is encompassed in his or her brand.

Today, Mark is looking towards the future with passion for an artistic medium that motivates and expands the imagination. As a visual communicator, he feels compelled to do more than just convey information- it has become his personal mission to create art that inspires people to act.