Since Leica Gallery London opened in February, the new destination has hosted inspiring exhibitions of iconic Leica photographers. The next exhibition follows suit with renowned American photographer, Mark Cohen’s ‘Just Outside’ running from 17 July to 1 September 2019.
Mark Cohen is renowned for his gritty and close-up street photography which started in his hometown, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, when he was only 12 years old. He later came to the conclusion that all the inspiration he needed was in his own industrial backyard – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, a historic industrialised region in the northeast of Pennsylvania.
Inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cohen photographs his subjects uncomfortably even audaciously close. The intrusive style pays off as his images are seemingly natural, a true snapshot of a moment capturing an elderly woman in a headscarf smoking a cigarette or a young girl walking self-consciously and deep in thought. The vulnerability and intimacy of these subjects are due to his ability to crop by getting in close, a behaviour that would intermittently get Cohen in trouble. As Cohen says: “a lot of times I had trouble with the cops, because if you walk into somebody’s yard and start taking pictures of a rope that’s sitting there, they’ll call the police.”
His works became particularly successful in the 1970s which saw him exhibit at New York’s
Leica Gallery London’s exhibition, ‘Just Outside’ is quintessential Cohen and features a selection of his works throughout the years, including the acclaimed photograph “Boy in Yellow Shirt Smoking”. The black & white and colour images from his hometown evolve around intimate moments between a group of kids or slices of faces up close and personal. Weird and wonderful angles are achieved through his nimble balletic moves and quick-as-a-flash snapping.
‘Just Outside’ will be shown at the Leica Gallery London from 17 July – 1 September 2019. All prints from the exhibition will be for sale and for the first time, all black & white prints from the exhibition will be available to purchase in larger sizes.