ALL PHOTOS R. DAVID MARKS
R. David Marks was the Black and White winner of my "What's your favorite vacation photo?" contest on Facebook. Marks is not only a photographer but also the owner of the R. David Marks Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is a must-go destination in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Marks' work may be often funny and ironic, but he also has the skill and talent to take beautiful portraits and majestic landscapes. I'm a big fan of his classic and direct approach to photography. I hope you enjoy the short interview and accompanying group of photos from Mr. Marks.
I love the humor in your pictures. What do you look for when you're out shooting?
I guess I'd say that I don't know if I look for anything in particular when I'm out shooting. It's more or less a "I'll know it when I see it" sort of approach. Irony and humor seem to show up a lot, especially in the last 7-8 years. If I see something that is simply graphically interesting, I'll shoot it and, a minute or two later, something may make me chuckle and I'll shoot that too. I am too much in love with the act of taking pictures to pigeonhole myself too much. Most of the time, I don't know what I've got exactly, until I look [at the photos] in a day or two. Even though I am using digital cameras, I don't chimp very much.
Who are your favorite photographers?
This should be a two part answer:
Part 1, My Early Years: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, W. Eugene Smith, Paul Strand, and Pete Turner.
Part 2, My Next Years: Sebastiao Salgado, Nathan Lyons, Garry Winogrand, Mark Klett, August Sander, David Turnley and Peter Turnley
I got to see your very cool gallery while I was in Santa Fe. Tell me about it.
The gallery started as, more or less, a co-op type of thing with myself and three other photographers almost 4 years ago.
We were only paying ourselves by commission based on our print sales. The other three photographers were not selling enough to support themselves, so after the first 15 months or so, I was the only one left. That was good in a way. I don't have to worry about anything or anybody but me in the gallery. The downside, however, is sitting in a gallery trying to sell your own work. It makes you start to second guess what you know is good work but isn't selling and that's not a good way to spend your day, believe me! It's been a tough process, but I'm learning to let that stuff go and just shoot what I know is good for me. Having a 2000 square foot gallery in downtown Santa Fe, NM was never something I aspired to. It just sort of happened. No complaints!
OK, last question. Tell me five things you cant live without, but you can't reference photography.
In no particular order;
1) The smell of the Southwest desert after a rainstorm
2) A good slice of pizza (NY style, none of that deep dish crap)
3) My lovely best friend and wife, Wiola
4) My passport
5) My memories, both good and bad
To see more of Mr. Marks work, go to his website.