Mark McKnight on The Magic Hour: Conversations on Photography

Mark McKnight, Los Angeles, 2019.  Photo by Jordan Weitzman

Mark McKnight, Los Angeles, 2019. Photo by Jordan Weitzman

Recorded in: Los Angeles, California
Episode Length: 43:30
Air Date: April 30, 2019

Produced by: Jordan Weitzman
Edited by: Cristal Duhaime

”There is so much soul in Mark McKnight's dark, complex, psychological photographs, whether he's photographing the bodies of men he’s attracted to, still lives or landscapes, all which have a distinct relationship to one another. 

Just last week, Mark was awarded the very prestigious Aperture Portfolio Prize. I encourage you to go and read Brendan Embser’s write-up on Aperture’s site because he really hits the nail on the head with Marks work and introduces it so beautifully. Embser says:

‘Mark McKnight is a modern-day modernist. His black-and-white photographs of skin and sand, brick and tar, with their rich tones and sparkling light, are redolent of twentieth-century masterworks, those pictures by men like Edward Weston who cast the world in silver-gelatin. Weston once said the camera should be used for recording the “quintessence of the thing itself, whether polished steel or palpitating flesh.” But for McKnight, who was born in Los Angeles to a New Mexican, Hispana-identified mother, something was missing from Weston’s vision. Something that would ignite a flame of recognition in a young queer man with ideas about male beauty more expansive than the Eurocentric standard. Something that would make “straight” photography a little less straight.’

Mark and I got together at his studio in the Boyle Heights area of LA, where he showed me some recent stunning prints that he’d been labouring over in darkroom. We got to talking about another big part of his life - teaching - which he spoke about with the same enthusiasm and energy that comes through in his work.”

Listen at Magic Hour Podcast

Magic Hour is a podcast interview series with photographers and people involved with the medium. It was founded in 2016 and is hosted and produced by Jordan Weitzman. Other interviews include Elle Pérez, John Gossage, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Mark Steinmetz, Danny Lyon, Duane Michals, Teju Cole, John Edmonds, Jason Fulford, Gregory Halpern, Justine Kurland and many more.

Mark McKnight