INTERVIEW WITH PHOTOGRAPHER MARK COOPER
By Mariano Penza
How did you embark on the art of photography and where did your inspiration originate?
I received my first camera as a gift for my seventh birthday in 1972, with instructions to learn how to interpret my world through this “magic box”. I then spent the rest of my life following these instructions. Over the years, photography has allowed me to travel to many countries and make photographic reports and has allowed me to fly and create several exhibitions and publications. The advancement of photographic technology then allowed me to go further with my imagination in order to produce my new “abstract” works. The inspiration comes from my curiosity to discover new ways to observe and interpret my surroundings, through the lens of my camera. A path that is constantly evolving.
Can you tell us when you understood the importance of photography in expressing your “Landscape Art”?
In 1999, I was commissioned by a building contractor to do some aerial photography of buildings that he had constructed over the years. I remember the take-off and the adrenaline that cursed through my veins as we climbed high with the helicopter, and then leaning out to look at the landscape that spread out below us. The impact was immediate and I decided in that instant that this was where I wanted to be, and this was the beginning of an adventure that lasted 15 years. The landscape seen from a bird’s eye view with the elements that compose it, together with the traces of the living beings that live there has a different value. The landscape flattens out and highlights the colors, the texture and the geometric shapes left by the union between man and mother nature, and with the right shot, by eliminating the superfluous, it becomes a “land art” painting of gigantic proportions.
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