Steven Marks is a photographer who works in experimental and conceptual modes. His current project, Shadows and Acts, explores the struggle of contemporary human existence and its most powerful psychological emotions. The expressionistic imagery is vivid and raw, and designed to lift the veil from experience by reinventing appearance. Through their use of bold, almost violent, colors, these accidental encounters, mysterious and strange, take us to the edge of the precipice, intimating mortality and the transitory shadows of our lives. By unlocking the feelings of the viewer via artificiality and distortion, Shadows and Acts heightens our perception of reality, capturing pictorial lies that are truer than truth itself. Another ongoing project, The Edge of Vision, maps Marks’ personal journey from near blindness to visual clarity. The pictures, all made in the camera, explore the tension between abstraction and representation, and between figure and gesture. In this respect, the pictures may best be understood as acts of experiential visual performance. They consider how camera improvisation can produce bold and provocative pictures that challenge received wisdom about the nature of contemporary photographic practice. In November 1918, Marks co-assembled the invitational group show Narrative, which the DC City Paper named one of the 5 best photography exhibits of 2018. Two pictures from Shadows and Acts were featured. He also was one of the 2017 Santa Fe 100, a juried photography conference and exhibition hosted by Center, one of the nation’s most important photography collectives.
Marks received an MFA in photography and design from the University of Illinois. His work has been shown at galleries and museums in the US and around the world.