Mark Cohen, 'Dark Knees', 1969-2012

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  • Photography
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Woman with red lips smoking, 1975 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery
Blackberries, 2008 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery
Bare thin arms against aluminum siding, 1981 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery
Torn shirt, Wilkes-Barre, 2012 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery
Pink jumprope, 1975 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery
Bubblegum, Wilkes-Barre, 1975 / © Mark Cohen, Courtesy RoseGallery

In the 1970s, when Mark Cohen began to take his first pictures, ‘street photography’ dominated the American photographic scene. This Pennsylvanian native appropriated the movement while putting his own spin on it: instinct. Without conforming, his camera always at the ready, Cohen pinched bits of ideas from his contemporaries and reassembled the pieces into an infinite puzzle.

Hands, shoulders, legs and mouths mix together like a kaleidoscopic portrait, brave and immediate. Sometimes rendered sepulchral by the shock of the flash, other times touched with a strange overtones, as if his lens managed to capture what the eye didn’t have time to see, his impulsive images always surprise. They see reality differently and tell, in counter-relief, the decline of a small mining town.

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