Inspirational Photographer: Stephen Mallon


Above: a mobile phone photo of one of Mallon’s images taken at the Sea Train exhibition

Earlier this year I shared some posts on this site about photographers that I found remarkable or inspirational.  This was intended as a way to educate myself by doing a mini-research project on the creative processes of successful photographers while also sharing some insight into my own thinking and point of view through the photographers that I chose to highlight.

Last week, I had the experience of viewing two museum exhibitions on photography:
Garry Winogrand: Color  at the Brooklyn Museum & Sea Train, a mini-exhibition o work by Stephen Mallon held within the Grand Central Terminal Gallery and Store of the New Transit Museum.


Above: the Museum’s official exhibition image

I expected to more impresssed by the Winogrand exhibition.  I was not!  Mallon’s documentary series on the the decommissioning, stripping, transporting and installing of subway cars as artificial reefs was both informative and artistically executed.

While the work of both Winogrand and Mallon (at least what I have seen so far) focuses on the unglamorous but familiar, Mallon has a highly evolved way of seeing.  He finds something beautiful in the most mechanical or mudane of subjects.

The opening sentence of Mallon’s bio on his website is:

Most people look at construction sites and machinery and see nothing more than concrete and steel. Stephen Mallon looks at them and sees both a surreal beauty and the wonder of their engineering.

I share that same goal; to find beauty in the everyday.  I tip my hat to Mallon!

In case you are curious, here’s an example of what a subway car looks like after some years underwater.


PHOTO: Robert Martore/South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources

Here are a few images of mine where  have zeroed in on the everyday, looking for something poetic.  Thanks for stopping by!



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