Mark Aghatise


Study One

June 6–30, 2019

Artist talk: Thursday, June 6, 5:00 PM

In Study One, Mark Aghatise manipulates photographs to examine “the bifurcation of self that occurs in contemporary urban life.” Upon moving to New York City, Aghatise became distinctly aware of the tendency for people to split into public and private personas, and of their desire, or need, to create and market a perfect outward version of themselves. At the same time, he was grappling with similar questions regarding himself, his body, and his feelings of dysmorphia in relation to it.

Aghatise found an avenue for this self-examination through his work as an editorial photographer. He writes, "Through photographing other black bodies, I began to better understand my own and ultimately how to contort and queer the space it inhabits." Regarding his process with his subjects, he states, “I analyzed during our shoots whether there was a difference in their public self that they would bring to set and the private self that would reveal itself by the end of the session. Noting the differences, I worked to use tactile manipulations of their image to reflect what I perceived in each of them. I wanted to craft a more cohesive image, reflecting the layers.”

Mark Aghatise is a London-born, New York-based artist. His work explores the processes of deconstructing and constructing images of the black male figure. Movement, repetition, and the failure of both are central to his photographic studies and endeavors. His work interrogates our current cultural understanding and relationship to photographs and photography as a medium. Through a design-oriented lens, Aghatise scans, rips, and distorts images to question and stretch our perception of reality within a photograph to make audiences conscious of their perspective and gaze.