The term “shooting from the hip” could have been invented to describe Mark Cohen’s style of street photography. Like many of the 1960s pioneers, Cohen likes to surprise his subjects, capturing them as they pass by and often without them even being aware that they have been photographed.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, though – Garry Winogrand, say, or Bruce Gilden – Cohen’s images do not tend towards the cruel or the confrontational. Rather, there is a certain tenderness to the best shots, particularly when his subject matter is children or teenagers. A beautiful little book called Dark Knees, which accompanied a mini-retrospective of his work at Le Bal in Paris a few years ago, homed in on this aspect of his work to poetic effect, emphasizing just how singular a stylist Cohen is, not least in the way he crops the human figure or captures it from odd angles. ~ Sean O'Hagan
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