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Photographs by Mark Cohen

Capturing the country’s visual surrealism in striking detail, Mexico presents two hundred images by Mark Cohen, the acclaimed street photographer and author of Frame and Dark Knees.

Éditions Xavier Barral, Paris
October 2016
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9 x 11.25 | 9 x 11.25 | 200 duotone photos |

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“I made these pictures exactly as if I was taking pictures in Wilkes-Barre, my hometown. I was led only by what I could see on the street. Of course, the extreme newness of this giant country, Mexico, was shocking to me. There really is surrealism in the air.”
—Mark Cohen

Between 1981 and 2003, Mark Cohen travelled to Mexico eight times. Seduced by the “surrealist” qualities he found there, Cohen took his camera to the streets of Mexico City, Oaxaca City, and Mérida, as well as other parts of the Yucatán. Following his split-second impulses, Cohen took his signature “grab shots,” often flooding the subjects with the artificial light of the flash. His black-and-white photographs, taken at arm’s length with minimal focus, capture the textures and rhythms of gritty city streets and city life. Reminiscent of Cohen’s iconic photographs of working-class Pennsylvania towns, yet imbued with a perceptible sense of foreignness, these Mexican images convey the restless energy and strangeness of daily life.


MARK COHENPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaCohen’s photography is in many major collections, including the Museum of Modern Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the George Eastman House; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He has published four previous books—Frame, Grim Street, True Color, and Dark Knees—and his work has been included in over eighty individual and group exhibitions.JORGE VOLPIPrinceton, New JerseyVolpi is a well-known Mexican novelist, essayist, and professor whose books include the award-winning En busca de Klingsor. He currently directs the Festival Internacional Cervantino, Latin America’s most important cultural fair.