A figure of the street photography genre which dominated American photography in the early 1970s, Mark Cohen is also the inventor of a distinctive photographic language. Over the past 40 years Cohen has walked the length and breadth of the streets around his hometown in Pennsylvania, seizing – or rather extracting – fragments of gestures, postures and bodies. This remarkable body of work is rooted in impulsions that last just fractions of a second. The obsessive, cinematic nature of these tightly cropped images seem too close for comfort, but are endlessly fascinating all the same. There is, in the brutality of his gaze, a rawness and a nervous energy, an ambivalence and a grace through which the making of a photo becomes the expression of a revelation.
"I became a surrealist because I kept walking around the same blocks, and I started taking a picture of a guy's shoe. I didn't know what I was doing exactly. I was just being led by whatever I would see."