Description

‘Dogpatch USA’ is a non-operational theme park located in northwest Arkansas along State Highway 7 between the cities of Harrison and Jasper, an area known today as Marble Falls. It was opened in 1968, and was based on the comic strip Li’l Abner, created by cartoonist Al Capp and set in a fictional village called Dogpatch.

In 2012 British photographer Mark Power embarked on a long-term photographic survey of America. Power has travelled across the US to create a complex visual narrative of a country in the midst of change. But rather than a road trip across the states, he often walks through cities, towns and rural America on foot. “I work on foot, with tripod and camera slung over my shoulder, trudging around for hours every day. From experience I’ve realized that pictures of places glimpsed from a passing car are rarely successful; they tend to be overt, and too much about the thing itself. On foot one notices the subtle nuances, how a space alters from step to step,” he says.

I keep a physical and metaphorical distance between myself and the subject

Mark Power
© Mark Power | Magnum Photos

Mark Power’s complex, meticulously crafted images – usually made with a large format camera – have earned him a reputation as one of the forerunners of British photography. Power’s interest in photography began as a child, when he discovered his father’s rudimentary enlarger made out of an upturned flower pot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens.

He went to art school, a foundation course at Loughborough College of Art (1977-78) followed by a BA in Fine Art at Brighton Polytechnic (1978-81), specialising in painting and drawing in the landscape and liferoom. He turned to photography in 1983, following a two-year trip exploring South-East Asia and Australia.

Known for his seminal work exploring the far-flung locations esoterically described in the BBC’s iconic Shipping Forecast, Power has adeptly expressed the peculiarities of social culture in places as varied as Britain, Poland and America. Power lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. He joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007.

© Mark Power | Magnum Photos

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