Interview with photographer Mark Essner

I plan on showing much of my mixed-media photography where the images are printed on multiple layers of various materials. A lot of these images are from my travels throughout Texas, New Orleans and other parts of the US as well of course as Toronto.

1 (10)Tell us about yourself
I live in Waterloo, Ontario and grew up in Bermuda. I’m a photographer and I am always seeing the world around me through that lens. I feel two different aspects and outlets for my photography are important to me.

Firstly there is the capturing of my surroundings and using those images to provide a narrative . I often see and show irony in situations through my work. These images are typically the ones I make into art pieces to show and sell.

Secondly and typically more frequently , there is the capturing of the people I meet. I find it incredibly important to capture the real essence of who someone is , and show them how I see them….how others see them. For many people it is their first time letting their guard down and being vulnerable, so there is a huge amount of trust involved and it is always an honour to share those moments. Much of this work remains private and is only seen by the subject.

Who has inspired you in your life and why?
I have always been inspired by the people I meet through my day to day life. Most are other artists or creative types who give me inspiration and reinforce my desire to keep creating . This also applies to my subjects without whom I’d be left feeling purposeless.

Photographically I’m inspired by documentary photography as I thrive on capturing events and moments in time. Photographers such as Lee Miller have work I often go back and see. When it comes to contemporaries , Toronto photographer Matt Barnes’ work never fails to capture me.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
Artistically I feel every sale, every show is an achievement in itself. I never want to have a feeling of complacency about others’ appreciation of my work. Being selected for juried fine art shows such as the BOX Art show series we had annually in Waterloo Region were the first time I realized…..I’d made it .

What do you have planned for the upcoming RAW Toronto UPRISING showcase?
At UPRISING I plan on showing much of my mixed-media photography where the images are printed on multiple layers of various materials such as aluminum, plexiglass and wood. A lot of these images are from my travels throughout Texas, New Orleans and other parts of the US as well of course as Toronto and area. There is a very urban/industrial feel to much of the work

Mark will be participating at the RAW:natural born artists Toronto UPRISING showcase November 19th at the Mod Club (722 College St.)  UPRISING will feature 40+ participating artists in film, fashion, visual art, photography, accessories, music, hair, makeup and performance art.  Tickets $15 Advance (http://www.RAWartists.org/toronto/uprising), $20 at door, 8PM – 2AM

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