Marcus Hodge was born in Sussex and attended London University, graduating in 1988 with a degree in Economics. The following year he moved to Palma, Spain to attend the Escuela Libre del Mediterráneo, one of the few remaining traditional art schools in Europe. He undertook a five-year training in classical oil painting under the tuition of Joaquín Torrents Lladó (1946–1993), one of Spain's top contemporary portrait and landscape artists. There, Hodge received a comprehensive grounding in techniques such as proportion, chiaroscuro, still life and portraiture. On completing his training, he became the third person in the school's twenty-five-year history to be invited to remain as a tutor.
Hodge returned to Britain in 1996 and established his studio in Oxfordshire. Within a year he had exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. His first trip to India in 2001 inspired a solo exhibition at Fine Art Commissions (Cork Street, London), which included landscapes and portraits. Hodge produced five more shows at FAC between 2002 and 2011. His most recent solo show at Rountree Tryon London was in winter 2017.
William Packer of the Financial Times has called Hodge 'one of the most successful portrait artists of his generation'. Significant portrait commissions include the President of the Union Club, New York; Lord Tebbit for the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital; Lord Gill; and Lord Justice Ryder for Bolton University. Other notable commissions have come from the Scots Guards at Balmoral; the Jockey Club in Newmarket; the Vice Chancellors of Bournemouth University; and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which requested a large pair of paintings to commemorate the artillery's sixtieth anniversary parade in Hyde Park.
Early in his career, Hodge first made a name for himself as a portrait painter. He returned to the UK in 1996 in a very lively Spanish "Alla Prima" style after a rigorous five-year training course in classical oil painting in Spain and exhibited some of his clinical arts at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters within two years. Marcus first traveled to India in 2000. This was the beginning of a strong attraction to the country that was the driving force behind his work. With each subsequent solo exhibition, his style evolved steadily and became bolder and simpler as figurative paintings were replaced by abstractions. As interest in this three-dimensional aspect increased, his paintings were accompanied by Impressionist bronze sculptures.
The 2017 Gateway Exhibition marked a crucial moment in Marcus's established career, combining Marcus' love for India and abstraction. The gate and window theme is a clear metaphor for this transformation, giving the material a much better expressiveness without being disturbed by the expression. Risks, opportunities and elements of opportunity were presented with various tools such as large spatulas, knives and pieces of wood. Each painting is unique as the artist looks for something unexpected.
Marcus had an impression over other artists and his contemporaries, for he had remained classical while painting horses. His art is replete with some aesthetic delicacies. The ethereal approach adopted by Marcus for his paintings is loved by all. He is remembered to have worked for multiple academies over multiple genres. However, he mostly excelled in portraying themes of horses, horse-racing, and horse-riding. His finest portraits include: At the Fair, Before the Show, El-Racio Andaulsia, and Walking Mare.