MARK STEINMETZ: The gray that blankets the living…

By Doug Rickard

The gray lays on top of everything like a heavy blanket.

It is almost as if the suffocating gray inhabits the people and has slowly spilled out to seep into everything on the outside… covering every lie, every truth, every object and every thing… every hope, every dream. Or is it the other way around? Is it that the gray that blankets everything on the outside seeping into them? The gray that blankets the woods, that shadows the sky, that crawls over the open areas… is it them into it or it into them?

And the black tar, the rubber smells and oil stained driveways, the metal roofs and the ugly concrete porches… the dead end jobs, the tangled trees and the rotting leaves… are they there to reflect what exists behind the eyes or do the eyes tell the tale of these things, these places and the stories that speak from these objects. Perhaps they are interwoven and married to each other… perhaps they are one in the same… the surroundings, the objects, the eyes and the looks… the insides, the behinds, the violence and the beneaths. They must be made up of these places and they must share the time and exist together. Perhaps they are simply adjoined to the same fate and inseparable… unable to easily part ways.

Mark Steinmetz glides along through the belly of these American things. He finds the cycles and the undertones and speaks with a language that emanates out from these strangely American places and the people and the objects that make them. He soaks up the stories and the feelings, the life that tries to break them. There is a feeling of broken wills and lost hopes and the disappearing dreams of the forced growing up and the failures of the calloused common.

These are the common men doing the common things on their broken down dead-end streets. There are streets and trash and the homes without cash. Little streaks of white light but the streaks are shrouded by the coming clouds and muffled cries and the skies – no blue, only the colorless gray. There are the metal tracks and the sounds of the long gone train and the black wet dirt, the cyclone fences, the metal cans, the baby crying, no laughter, a lotta hurt. The southern, the eastern, the south… no west…

Middle of the working class road… dead end baby, the beautiful dead end.

Another one to set the bar, ignoring genre and leaving most of the “Contemporary Art” field dead in their conceptual tracks.

Bravo Mark Steinmetz from Georgia.

BOOKS: Mark Steinmetz

* Greater Atlanta (2009)
* South Central (2007)
* South East (2008)
* Tuscan Trees (2001)

DIANE ARBUS: "The Eyes Have It: Gillian Wearing on Diane Arbus"
DIANE ARBUS: "Where Diane Arbus Went" (2005)
REVIEW: TAIYO ONORATO & NICO KREBS - "The Great Unreal" (2009)
MITCH EPSTEIN: "Eighteen Color Photographers/Mitch Epstein, 'Common Practice'" (1987)
PIETER HUGO: "The Dog's Master" (2007)
INTERVIEW: "Robert Hirsch with Milton Rogovin" (2004)
ASX.TV: Shelby Lee Adams - "Exploring with Shelby Lee Adams"
MICHAEL SCHMIDT: "Thoughts About My Way of Working" (1979)
BILL BRANDT: "Don't Smile - You Look Stupid" (2004)
ASX.TV: Todd Hido - "Between the Two" (2006)
ASX.TV: Mark Steinmetz - "South Central"
JIM JOCOY: "We're Desperate - SF/LA 1978-1980"
ASX.TV: Pieter Hugo - "Interview Pieter Hugo door Wim van Sinderen" (2012)
LISETTE MODEL & WEEGEE: "Max Kozloff On Lisette Model (and Weegee)" (2002)
MIKE DISFARMER: "Disfarmer Portraits"
ASX.TV: Richard Avedon - "Daniel Baer Discusses Richard Avedon's Observations" (2012)
ASX.TV: Diane Arbus - "Masters of Photography Part 3" (1972)
DIANE ARBUS: "Stamped on Verso"
ASX.TV: Mark Steinmetz - "Flashes #04" (2013)
ASX.TV: Mark Steinmetz - "Workshop Discussion" (2013)
INTERVIEW: "Interview with Richard Avedon (Excerpt)" (1984)
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