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Oliver Mark

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Oliver Mark is a German photographer and artist known primarily for his portraits of international celebrities.

In the 1990s, Mark began photographing celebrities. He became known for his portraits of Anthony Hopkins and Jerry Lewis, but also of other public figures including Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict XVI, and Joachim Gauck, and actors like Ben Kingsley, Cate Blanchett and Tom Hanks. His personal interest lies in contemporary artists and their creative world. He has close contacts with well-established and emerging artists, who he portrays in their working environment.

He works with both a single-lens reflex camera and an old, 680 Polaroid. The instant photos produced by the Polaroid reveal Mark's familiarity and closeness to the subjects he portrays.

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Oliver Mark (born 20 February 1963) is a German photographer and artist known primarily for his portraits of international celebrities.


Mark discovered his enthusiasm for photography at the age of nine when he entered a painting competition and won first prize. He was awarded a trip to the Olympic Games in Munich and, to celebrate this, his father gave Mark his first camera. He was fascinated by the photos he took himself, because they looked so different from the ones he was used to seeing in magazines. He trained as a photographer, working first in the field of fashion photography at Burda Photo Studios in Offenburg. As a guest student, he attended seminars in Visual Culture at the Berlin University of the Arts by Katharina Sieverding, known for her large format photographs. He has been a freelance photographer since 1991.


Mark is the father of two sons and currently lives in Berlin.


In the 1990s, Mark began photographing celebrities. He became known for his portraits of Anthony Hopkins and Jerry Lewis, but also of other public figures including Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict XVI, and Joachim Gauck, and actors like Ben Kingsley, Cate Blanchett and Tom Hanks. His personal interest lies in contemporary artists and their creative world. He has close contacts with well-established and emerging artists, who he portrays in their working environment.


He works with both a single-lens reflex camera and an old, 680 Polaroid. The instant photos produced by the Polaroid reveal Mark's familiarity and closeness to the subjects he portrays.


He has worked for magazines such as Architectural Digest, Rolling Stone, Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Stern, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Die Zeit.


In 2013, one of his photographs was honored by a National Portrait Gallery (London) award. In 2014, Mark published his own magazine entitled Oliver – Nutte Künstler Fotograf. Die ganze Wahrheit über Oliver Mark [Oliver – hooker artist photographer. The whole truth about Oliver Mark].


Mark deals with other topics as well.


Mark's exhibition Natura Morta, which was presented in two parts at the Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Natural History Museum Vienna in 2017, addresses how humans deal with nature and the environment, in particular the animal world, but also the aesthetics and beauty death. Mark's still life photographs were taken in the Asservat Chamber of the Federal Office for Nature Conservation in Bonn in 2015. His idea was to photograph items seized by customs, such as leopard skulls, ivory carvings, crocodile and turtle products, protected animal and plant parts, hunting trophies, snakeskin clothing, precious tropical wood, musical instruments, travel souvenirs like seahorses, coral, snails, and shells. He photographed these using specific backgrounds and a method of lighting (Old Master-like daylight, lit only through a crack) in order to generate in the viewer a desire to observe. In the Vienna Natural History Museum, these items are sorted into three categories and exhibited in context with different animal specimens, in order to address the topic of species protection. Mark presented his photographs in historical picture frames, which he selects at auctions and antique shops. This created an interesting dialog in the Paintings Gallery of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts between the different genres of painting and photography as well as the painted or photographed still lifes. The Gemäldegalerie exhibited still lifes and animal paintings from their collection by Dutch painters, such as Willem van Aelst, Jan Weenix, or successors of Peter Paul Rubens.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


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Oliver Mark Artworks
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