Mark Chester: The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape, Photographs of New Americans
Image: Grenada Fitzroy
January Library artist Mark Chester's work is on display throughout the month. The artist's reception is on Saturday, January 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. All are welcome!
In youth my penchant to discover places and people began, National Geographic, my guide; for forty years with wanderlust and curiosity I covered the continents photographing cultural landscapes. I’ve come full circle—traveling the world not leaving the state. The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape supporting MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant Refugee Advocacy Coalition) is a collection of informal, environmental portraits of ethnic diversity in Massachusetts. 400-plus photographs that represent over 180 countries are touring the state; a companion book for donation to schools and libraries will bring awareness to our cultural diversity:subjects of various stations, foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens residing in the Commonwealth. Prompted by the 2010 Census, the seed was planted earlier on assignment at Ellis Island for a 1978 essay by mentor Charles Kuralt. Unlike my candid street photography, this is a straightforward approach: individuals looking into the camera, telling stories through expression, place and pose.
Photography is the medium that best expresses my observations and travel experiences. My work is not limited to any specific category. They are pictures of people, places and things that have touched me in some emotional, intellectual and whimsical way. The creative process for making photographs is the same, whether I am on the street in Boston, documenting daily life in Cuba or an airplane factory in Shanghai. I observe the human condition as it unfolds before me, attempting to capture that telling moment of people interacting or the juxtaposition of people in their environment. The process is a combination of thinking, intuition and anticipation of the subject; that is, I think about the angle and position to shoot from, the composition of the subject, and the light conditions. It seems to all come together in a nanosecond. Henri Cartier-Bresson referred to it as the “decisive moment.” For me a “finished piece” can be a single image or a series of photographs that best sums up the story that evokes a reaction. It resonates with the viewer. firstname.lastname@example.org ~ www.markchesterphotography.com