ZIP TALK; ICONIC - MARK SELIGER
by Sophia Czerny
The People in the Man
One hundred twenty-five Rolling Stone cover photos and countless covers for magazines like Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair speak for themselves—Mark Seliger is a genius, and ranks as one of the most distinguished and successful photographers in the world. During May and June, the Vienna gallery PhotographersLimitedEdition is presenting highlights of Seliger’s artistic career in the exhibit Look & Listen. Portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and nudes provide insight into the Texan’s broad range. A large number of the art photos here are being shown—and offered for sale—in Austria for the first time.
Seliger‘s ability and his penchant for „capturing the great moment“ are also prized by numerous international stars. From Gisele Bündchen to Brad Pitt, John Malkovich and Diane Kruger, he’s already had an entire range of notables before his lens. But he’s also able to depict But with his incredible sensibility, his extraordinary intuition for light and shadow, and his untamed artistic energy, he also manages to depict regular-old people and landscapes in a unique and intimate fashion.
A bet sparked his interest
His love of photography came about as the result of a bet with his brother: if he could score a point in baseball, his brother would buy him a camera. Well, he didn’t score the point; he did, however, steal a base. So he got the camera, and the darkroom that he set up at home became his retreat where practiced developing and printing his first photos.
Seliger deepened his knowledge at a school for visual arts in Houston, and then studied the history of documentary photography at East Texas State University. The learning paid for itself: he was named „Chief Photographer“ for Rolling Stone magazine. In this capacity, he worked very closely with design director Fred Woodward, with whom he also directed numerous music videos for artists such as Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz and Elvis Costello.
He has shot covers for Vogue und Co. since 2002 – which pulled him over to Condé Nast, where he’s still under contract to this day.
And the winner is
Seligers photos, which are already considered legitimate works of art, have been exhibited in museums worldwide. His works are also to be found in scores of publications and coffee-table books. His work is precise. He produces nearly all his photographs as platinum-palladium prints, a traditional photo-printing process that turns his works into one-of-a-kind paintings. They have been awarded prizes by some of the most important international art photo markets– among them, the Society of Publication Designers, the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, Communication Arts, American Photography, Photo District News, and the Lucie Award—for extraordinary accomplishments in the field of portrait photography.
Mark Seliger was present at the exhibit’s opening night at the PhotographersLimitedEditiongallery, and revealed a surprisingly down-to-earth, funny, and personable side of himself. An artist who knows how to inspire people.