/14 Portraits

Mark Cohen

Dark Knees

This is a mixed set of pictures in the street mostly. One is 120 roll film,the one of the two sisters, posing while waiting for the bus on the public square in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and there is also an 8X10 inch contact print of two girls playing with a little white dog. The rest are made from 35mm negatives and all are about 8X10 inches and scanned at 72 dpi. The picture of the woman in the white coat is out of focus but the grain of it is very sharp and the stance of the woman standing by the NYC underground subway stop at 14th street is very beautiful. The 1977 photo of the two black boys faces by the car shows one smile, the younger boy, in front, and one face, the older boy, behind, is suspicious of the photographer. FOUR PEOPLE in the street in New YorkCity are on the sidewalk in front of the check cashing/money order store and the heads of all are level across the frame and reveal a range of expressions. The Camera goes into an open car window and we see two and a half children’s portraits and mom’s elbow, all inside. On the 21st of June in the city a white man and a black man walk side by side. The working man turns away. In November 1988 a small girl is playing under the porch in the darkness and behind her is a light coming through the cellar window, her hands are on her knees and her shoes are party shoes. A Woman is Flashed as she poses for the camera-one eye is right at the lens.Center frame. Smile. In NYC a young man leans in the dark against a brick building and poses for an exposure on “bulb”. It is night so it might be one or two seconds. An anonymous portrait in the dim light. A second portrait in the street in NYC of a man, full length, and striking a pose for he has seen me and looks up at the sky. The next man is waiting and he is flashed, in the center of the horizontal frame, and he has seen the camera. IT IS 1988 and two children are waiting in a truck cab in a parking lot and then I make an exposure of a 1/250th of a second. In Wilkes-Barre in 1969 two go-go girls are posing for me in a bathroom in a bar. I am very close up here and with a 21mm lens I make this portrait. AT THE same time, the next day, some well dressed boys are holding signs about the possibility of WICKEDNESS.