Marcus Jansen was born 1968 in Manhattan, New York, resided with his family in the South Bronx and later, Laurelton, Queens where he started school. His family later moved to Moenchengladbach Germany, where he received a German education and grew up bilingual. Jansen’s unique artistic vocabulary was discovered by the former Museum Director of the American Vanguard Exhibitions Europe 1961, Jerome A. Donson; who wrote about Jansen’s work as being "reminiscent of the Ash-Can School,” and named him the “innovator of modern expressionism”. While showing in Munich, the home of the German Expressionists painters’ movement, Jansen, was noted as “one of the most important American painters of his generation” by the only two-time Documenta Kassel Curator and German Art Historian, Prof. Dr. Manfred Schneckenburger.
Inspired by the rebellious art form of graffiti from his native Bronx and Manhattan in the early 1970’s and later again in the early 1980’s on his return visits when he met some of the cities second-generation graffiti art pioneers, the movement became a catalyst for Jansen in the 1990’s, advancing a new generation into socially charged urban landscape paintings.
Jansen was influenced by the two very different worlds he grew up in and it’s this contrast that helped mold him into one of a handful of international leading combatants of the avant-garde. His paintings are often situated between contemporary and street or graffiti art elements that explore and document the human condition critically, socially and politically.
Jansen’s public collections include the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The New Britain Museum of American Art, The PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, the Housatonic Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
His documentary film is titled, “Marcus Jansen Examine and Report” filmed by Emmy award-winning filmmaker John Scholar.