Monday, September 14, 2020

Inside a Sensual New Photo Book Capturing Lovers in the Californian Desert

A disclaimer before entering artist Mark McKnight’s website breaks down his photographs’ content with an ebb-and-flow between the bodily and the earthly. “Piss” is tailed by “grass” and “cocks” follow “rocks”.
This oscillation of texture and form echoes in the artist’s new monograph Heaven is a prison, published by Marseilles-based publisher Loose Joints. In sun-cast black and white images, two nude men surrender to desire amid a barren Southern Californian desert, which stretches as far as his lens captures. The result is something close to visual poetry: “the work is not a narrative in any conventional sense,” McKnight says – much like most poems – but “a body and landscape quandary, only because those happen to be the literal subjects I’m describing”.

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