On the Spot
Provo's Mark Hendengren
Mark Hedengren is a photographer from Provo, Utah. His photographs have been in shows juried by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery. He is the author of The Mormons, a book documenting contemporary Mormonism. Mark is in the permanent collection of the Center for Fine Art Photography and Brigham Young University Special Collections. He is a photographer with Getty Images and has an MFA from the University of Glasgow’s School of Art. Mark is also active in film, with movies in Slamdance and the BBC. Recently, Mark directed the feature documentary Sundance Skippy. His exhibit The Invincibility Fable is on display at UMOCA through August 18th.
There was a good exhibit at the International Center of Photography in NYC
a few weeks ago about Wee Gee, a photographer of crime. He did a series of
photographs of himself in all the stages of being processed by the police as
if he were being arrested. It was fascinating to see the photographer as
part of the subject he loved to photograph. I don't think people realize how
much of the photographer is in the subjects they photograph. Photography
takes so much time and is so much work; in part, one reason you are willing to do that work and keep returning to the subject matter is that you see so much of yourself in
the subject. This is definitely the case with my exhibit at the Utah MoCA, The Invincibility Fable. It is very much about the summers I spent
swimming when I was a teenager.
I would have the photographer Mary Ellen Mark. She really is amazing. Her
portraits communicate so much. Her latest book Prom, which was
published by the Getty Museum in LA and is now being exhibited at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, is wonderful. It's no surprise she has such a long and relevant
career, winning almost every award you can and being in the collection of every
major museum in the United States. Mary Ellen Mark has written the forward
to my next book Three Mormon Towns. It really has been a delight to work
with a photographer that I've been a fan of since I was starting out in the
When I was a kid there was a poster of Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
taped above my bed. I don't know why, both of my parents were an
english and a philosophy professor so there was actually very little talk or influence of
the visual arts in the house. When it was nap time or something I would
spend time looking at the poster. I didn't know the painting was important or anything, I
just knew that it was interesting. I just liked looking at it so I did. I don't know if that experience
had any influence on my work directly other than I try to have as
many layers and depth in each single photograph as I can. I'm glad it was
"Starry Night" above my bed. Some of the "great works" don't live up to the
hype. "Starry Night" lives up to every bit of its reputation.
15 Bytes: About Us
Our editorial contributors this edition
|Simon Blundell is a Salt Lake native and has studied art, communication, journalism, design, and advertising. He has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and continues to explore photography and art in all its aspects. He loves music, literature, film, good food, travel, and motorcycles.
|Jared Christensen grew up in North Ogden, Utah and finally moved to Salt Lake at the age of 18 to go to school. He recently graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography.
Ehren Clark studied art history at both the University of Utah and the
University of Reading in the UK. He is now a professional writer.
|Shalee Cooper is a freelance photographer and curator. She is the Image Editor of 15 Bytes Magazine and an Associate Instructor at the University of Utah.
|Sheryl Gillilan received her B.A. in Psychology from Lewis and Clark College, and Masters in both Social Services and Law and Social Policy from Bryn Mawr College. She is an award-winning quilt artist and the Executive Director for Art Access.
Kelly Green, a Salt Lake native, first discovered photography when her parents gave her a point-n-shoot camera while traveling through Southern Utah. She was instantly hooked. She photographs in black and white and color film with 35mm and medium formats, dipping into the digital world for live music shots or 15 Bytes assignments.
|Alexandra Karl did a BFA in Ottawa (Canada) and then spent ten years studying art history in Europe. She worked at Munich's Lenbachhaus for five years while completing her Masters, and received her PhD in the History of Art from Cambridge. She has taught at the U, the McGillis School and Congregation Kol Ami. She has led tours to the Spiral Jetty and Frank Lloyd Wright's Stromquist House. She believes a vigorous art scene is essential to any thriving society
Sue Martin holds an M.A. in Theatre and has worked in public relations. As an artist, she works in watercolor, oil, and acrylic to capture Utah landscapes or the beauty of everyday objects in still life.
Ann Poore is a freelance writer and editor who spent most of her career at The Salt Lake Tribune. She also worked for Salt Lake City Weekly and has written for such publications as Utah Business Magazine and Salt Lake Magazine. She is currently at work co-authoring a book on two Utah artists.
Shawn Rossiter, a native of Boston, was raised on the East Coast. He has degrees in English, French and Italian Literature. He dropped out of a Masters program in Contemporary Literature to pursue a career as an artist. He founded Artists of Utah in 2001 and is editor of its magazine, 15 Bytes.
|Dale Thompson has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College. Her writing career includes work for a local theatre, journalism in Park City, and freelance contributions for various nonprofit organizations.
|Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.