Description

Born in 1959, Mark Power was part of a British generation shaped by American influences. “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to explore America, an ambition fuelled by a legion of TV shows that crossed the Atlantic in the 1960s,” Power says. Since 2012, he has been photographing the US as part of an ambitious project to reflect on the current state of the nation. “The longer I spend in America the more I learn… but the more confused I get as well,” he says. “It’s such a complicated country, beset with problems, many running so deep it would be far too simplistic to blame them all solely on Trump.”

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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