Location:Wilkes-Barre, PA, United States
Cohen was born and lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania until 2013. He attended Penn State University and Wilkes College between 1961 and 1965, and opened a commercial photo studio in 1966. Cohen’s photography was first exhibited in the 1969 exhibition Vision and Expression organised by Nathan Lyons at George Eastman House.
The majority of the photography for which Cohen is known is shot in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area (also known as the Wyoming Valley), a historic industrialized region of northeastern Pennsylvania. Characteristically Cohen photographs people close-up, using a wide-angle lens and aflashgun, mostly in black and white, frequently cropping their heads from the frame, concentrating on small details. He has used 21 mm, 28 mm and 35 mm focal length, wide-angle, lenses and later on 50 mm.
Cohen has published three monographs, Grim Street (2005); True Color (2007), work in colour originating as a commission from George Eastman House; and Italian Riviera (2008), made along the Levante Riviera, during his stay in Rapallo, Liguria.
Cohen has described his method as 'intrusive': "They're not easy pictures. But I guess that's why they're mine.”
You may find his work and his methods odd, disquieting, or even distasteful—but there is no denying the power of Mark Cohen's in-your-face street photography.
Our favorite photobook of 2013 — Don't miss it!