Nancy Roth

Joel Mark is a sophisticated professional photographer, a master of the many techniques of film and digital photograp

One of the problems for the serious artist at an advanced stage of proficiency is to find artistic challenges in the medium. Photographic images have now become so apparently easy to create that many sophisticated techniques of the darkroom which were once the province of the professional or dedicated amateur have for the most part been greatly simplified.

In Mark’s current body of work he captures quotidian images with the simplest of methods, means that could even be called primitive, allowing elements of chance to intervene in capturing the image. Mark transforms them with subtle manipulations of color and printing techniques, and these ordinary objects take on mysterious, otherworldly qualities.

The current work suggests a connection with traditional fine printmaking. Here the photographic paper is more than a substrate for a photographic image. As with an aquatint or an etching, the softened images seem to be a part of the paper they are printed on, giving them a tactile warmth.

There is a contemplative stillness in these images of everyday objects. Spending time with them grants access to a transcendent reality that lies within the familiar world.

Nancy Roth