With Marcus Mok

X 2005 by Marcus Mok

FA4M Mag interviews Marcus Mok.

FA4M: Why are you a photographer?

MM: Photography is my outlet for creative expression. I feel most at home and most myself when I am behind a camera, and I feel I express my true self through my work more so than through my words. I have an active imagination and love conceptualizing and creating images.

FA4M: How long have you been producing your work?

MM: I have done fine art male nudes for 10 years now and still have great passion for it.

FA4M: How do you select the subjects of your work?

MM: I look for something in a model that is more than a beautiful face or body. Some people have an electric quality which helps bring an image to life. Sometimes I think I can detect a latent potency which I try and expose to both the model and the audience.

FA4M: Who are your favorite artists?  And why?

MM: My favourite artists are those who went to the edge and beyond in their work, such as Mapplethorpe. He really was the prime inspiration for my work, even though it is very different from his. He challenged the dominant paradigm and in doing so, changed it for the better.

FA4M: How do you describe your work?

MM: My work endeavours to capture the ethereal beauty of the human form, trying to suggest the spiritual as well as physical. I hope the images are more than pictures of beautiful people, and that they provoke thoughts beyond the corporeal.

FA4M: What is the most satisfying moment of your production process?

MM: I derive the greatest satisfaction when someone – the model or a viewer – tells me there is something about an image that speaks to them and provokes thought.

FA4M: What are some of the challenges of your process?

MM: Finding suitable models with that extra something is often challenging, as is shooting nudes outdoors. It can create some interesting situations.

FA4M: Example?

MM: One shot titled “Samson” is of a guy straddling huge metal cylinders; it was shot at an industrial site in Sydney. Every five minutes or so, hordes of people would walk past when the trains arrived. It was quite harrowing. Then there is “Release;” we shot the photo in Melbourne — it’s an image of a guy lying precariously on the edge of a pier. During the shoot, a woman walking her dogs was approaching and when the model started covering himself with a towel, she just smiled and waved, and said, “don’t worry!”

FA4M: What is beauty?

MM: John Donne wrote that beauty is truth and truth is beauty, and I think, subconsciously, that is what I am trying to reveal. I try very hard to get to and to reveal the truth in an image, and to me this is the most beautiful, even if it would not meet traditional notions of beauty. For me, beauty does not just relate to pretty things but also the most mundane of things that most people hardly take notice. It could be wilting flowers in a vase. These things really speak to me and I try and retell their story through my work.

FA4M: What is erotic?

MM: Something is erotic when it tantalizes the senses, be it a sound, a smell, taste, sight or a feeling.

FA4M: What is Capital-A Art?

MM: I think Capital-A Art is meant to refer to art so classified by the cognoscenti, but the interesting thing for me is, it changes. Music or paintings may not be deemed to be art until hundreds of years after a composer’s or painter’s death.

FA4M: Is there such a thing as gay art/a gay aesthetic?

MM: I believe certain kinds of art appeal to gay people. From my experience, nude images of men, whether in the form of sculpture, painting, photography or anything visual, is a good example of such art. Of course gay men also love anything that is beautiful including fashion and decor.

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About fa4m

Fine Art for Men is an international online gallery showcasing the male nude in fine art as well as gay art and homoerotic art while including contemporary artists and collectible vintage works.