by Susan Kandel
May 29, 1995
It’s easy to understand why photographer Mark Citret isn’t very well known. It isn’t because his work isn’t interesting—it is, as this survey at Paul Kopeikin Gallery will attest. It’s because the work is unassuming—which is not to say that is slight, because it isn’t.
Citret is attuned to all sorts of things: light streaming across snow-capped landscapes (this is surely owed to his years working with Ansel Adams); things that resemble other things (an iceberg that doubles as a Sphinx); the detail that gives away the pretense (a seascape marred by a piece of white paper, as hallucinatory as a stray marshmallow); the fantastic fictions inspired by factual representations (a cache of abandoned bathtubs arranged like ancient sarcophagi or sleeping cows).
Everything about these images eschews the spectacular—the light is dim, the graphic contrasts are muted the surreal forms are hidden behind the scrim of the everyday. In the hands of someone else, these little epiphanies might be trumpeted as artistic triumphs. Here, they read as observations that are no less striking for their diffidence.