JOB Portrait, Fashion & Cultural Photographer
WEBSITE Mark Alesky
PROJECT Still Lifes
My personal work is an on-going conversation with myself about the way I interpret the world around me. It forms a part of my archive, my visual language, my diary.
Mark Alesky is a fashion, portrait and cultural photographer living in South London. He’s best known for his portraits of musicians and celebrities, often shot on large-format film and gracing the pages of magazines such as The Face and many London style and fashion magazines.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PROJECT?
I have a communal garden, used by many of the residents. Whilst sunbathing and reading I took notice of the wall that lies under my lounge window, it was in full sunlight. It’s been Artexed and has many marks on it. I noticed a spider hanging from its thread, the full direct sunlight produced a strong clean shadow, very graphic. Then as always with these types of visuals the idea came to me that I should start to collect objects that were around me.
As always, humans will leave debris and discarded remnants, valueless objects lay forgotten with dead wood and nature’s own now lifeless debris.
These found objects are clues to a past that most people do not see.
HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
I began to arrange these ‘ improvised sculptures ‘ hanging from the window ledge, with the Artex wall as a background. Most are very delicate and take a while to balance, sometime the wind will destroy the work and I have to start again. I’m relying on my photographer’s intuition as to when each is ready to shoot in the dazzling, uncompromising light of the sun, picking out every nuance of detail with beautiful clarity.
During the shooting I’m not aware of any specific final image, it’s a meditative process, if it feels right, I shoot it. In post production I would first rotate the images 180 degrees, they now were upright, changing the perspective, giving an almost theatrical view.
To my mind the appearance of these sculptures began to take on a spirit of their own. The more I shot, the more they seemed to become abstract relics, artifacts from a fictional culture, a mythical ancient civilization.
They seem to have a sense of ‘ spirit ‘, a message from the past.
I have a favourite book, ‘ Beyond Reason ‘.
It’s a collection of images from The Prinzhorn Collection of artwork made by psychiatric patients in the early 1920’s. The exhibition was at the Hayward Gallery in the 90’s. ( Best ever exhibition ) The urgent drive of these patients to express and to record their experiences, to impose order on chaos, and to communicate through images, drawings, objects and sculptures through spontaneous artistic production is very much in my mind when creating these works.