through June 20, 2014
The work of Mark Cohen is direct and intense; through often fragmented frames we are brought to the artist's stomping-grounds, his hometown Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The artist lived and worked for most of his life in this small working-town and there developed his own style of street photography. Images are taken at close-range with a wide-angle lens. To allow a bit more distance, and perhaps avoid confrontation with his subjects, Cohen shot his frames with arms extended, rather than carefully composed through the viewfinder. This manner of shooting helped to refine his personal style and adds an interesting perspective to the work. We see Cohen's world in pieces- waste-lines, belly-buttons, knees, the tops of heads without bodies, or bodies without heads. While this could and often does heighten tension it also sharpens our perspective and adds an anonymity that renders many of the frames specific and universal. Our eye wanders the tight frames and forms and pushes through negative space to take in the background; it is this space that often fills in the remaining narrative. There is often something gritty and unkept to Cohen's space, and in truth to Wilkes-Barre, this speaks to condition of place and reinforces his uneasy pictures.
Read more about the work in the New York Times Lens Blog
Additional coverage in the New York Times Magazine
and Collector Daily
To view works online or for additional information on Cohen and his work, please visit Danziger Gallery
Image Information: Mark Cohen, Youth Crouching, 1974
Courtesy of Danziger Gallery