Thursday, November 11, 2010

Artist of the Week #2: PWA

My second artist this week is my good friend Mark Page, better known as PWA - Photos With Attitude. Be warned, if prudish or frail of heart, there is some mild nudity here.

Mark and I have known each other for at least 15 years. We used to both be regulars at a local social club in High Wycombe where I was involved in writing, acting and directing amateur dramatic productions and Mark was involved in designing and building props and scenery etc. At the time, I was a copper and he sold car parts for a living. Things have changed dramatically for us both.

In an almost exact carbon copy of my brother's story (see previous post) Mark has always been a keen photographer but it was being made redundant that gave him the nudge he needed to go pro. Quite by accident, he found himself in the world of alternative glamour, specialising in tattooed and pierced models and has, in just five years, risen to the top of his gene.

Mark has now been published in a range of photography books, has a book of his own out and was recently selected as one of the world's top 200 glamour photographers. That's a pretty damn fine accolade. His work has featured in lots of magazines and many of his models have gone on to become professional.

What's particularly interesting about Mark's work is that, to begin with, all of his models are just everyday members of the public. They approach him via Facebook and other social media and various local venues and there seems to be no end of guys and gals who want to see their ink and metal immortalised in print. For Mark, it's been fascinating to watch how the 'alt fashion' culture has grown and he's been right at the heart of it. In a few years, he may be able to look back on this era and publish a retrospective much as another local man, Gavin Watson, did for skinheads and punks in Wycombe in the 1980s (Incidentally, if you do follow that link, the young lad in the striped trousers is now my brother-in-law!). Mark is now teaching other photographers how to get the kinds of shots that he does at regular workshops. He is also one of the organisers of the annual Alternative Wycombe Festival, fast becoming one of the year's top events for the alt fashion community.

You can see a lot more of Mark's distinctive work on his blog here and on his Deviant Art site here. Be warned, however, definitely not safe for work. Lots of nudity and some sexual content.

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