Mark Vessey; Photographer, dog lover, London
I first came across the amazing work of 33 year-old photographer Mark Vessey at London’s Affordable Art Fair, a total mecca of fantastic art that I urge everyone to check out at some point. Walking past one of his images, I knew there was more to it than just a stack of VOGUE’s. His work and I vibed right away- he was into pop culture and pop art, and so was I. As a magazine hoarder I had to have it but what was more exciting was that the whole relatable art thing was true. Art does truly speak to you when you are speaking the same language.
As I stood in front of VOGUE I knew there was someone else out there who felt the same about the iconic typeface, and the bible of fashion as I did. That stack of magazines in particular represents inspiration and dare I say hope to many fashion fans and freaks alike all over the world, who find it symbolic of the past, present, and future of fashion.
Mark Vessey’s very successful collection of work dedicated to various "collections" all share a link to popular culture, leading to commercial work with TopMan, Penguin Random House, and UBS to name a few. His work has been featured in The Times, Attitude, and LOVE Magazine, and notable exhibits include the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the St. Pancras Hotel. His famed KATE MOSS piece, an homage to the supermodel’s 20 years of covers, was chosen by St. Pancras Editions as one of a series of limited edition artworks to be exhibited at the iconic hotel. Mark received a handwritten note of appreciation from Kate, thanking him also for giving her the stack of her editions. In addition the Supermodel also owns her own print of Mark’s collection of her VOGUE spines.
From one photographic vehicle to another, Instagram helped put our chat in motion and the conversation between a fan and the artist is down below. I hope you enjoy the fun and insightful exchange — Lauren
Why do you think it is you are fascinated by what we collect? I love to find out what people become obsessed about, and how collecting can become a portrait or personal reflection of who we are.
Other than magazines what do you collect? But also… what is your magazine collection like? This year I have become obsessed with Absolut Vodka bottles. I guess I have loved them for being so iconic in their design, and also the advertising that makes them such iconic brands.
My own magazine collection is extensive and I try to move it on as to not drown in magazines. I’m lucky as I have a huge loft space. I have the entire collection of Attitude Magazine, a lot of i-D, Wallpaper and The Face.
Can you mention a few really over the top or just straight weird collections you have encountered in life and in work? A friend collected snow globes which I found weird. Also a friend collects everything that is Miffy.
Do you actually read Vogue? Yes, I love buying Vogue.
As a lover and owner of one of your Vogues, I liked the mystery of why they aren’t in sequential order. Though I know a quote exits on your website as to why. When friends come by it is a brilliant talking point as to why you might have done it that way. Can you expand on the process? And also how many Kate Moss’ are in there…? Thank you. When I shot the Vogues I didn’t want them to look too contrived. Also mostly so they can be a stack on your own shelf at home. I wanted it to be a portrait of VOGUE and its simplicity, brand and style. How the magazine spines together represent that to me.
I think there are 3 Kate Moss covers in the original VOGUE- May 2000, Oct 2008, Sept 2009.
How did you get your start and do you participate in other mediums? I studied A level Art and then went on to do a Foundation in Art. I remember seeing a friends photography portfolio and knew straight away that photography was what I wanted to do and went on to do a degree in Photography at Brighton University. When I graduated I entered my Attitude Magazine edition into the Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition and it got excepted which really helped raise my profile.
I love all types of art – especially pop art, painting and sculpture.
What are you working on next? I’ve been working on two new editions of Absolut Vodka bottles. I have always wanted to work on them as they’re so iconic and my artist heroes Keith Haring and Andy Warhol have artwork based on them.
I wanted to present the bottles in a new way and have photographed collections of them from above.
What is your typical day like? Mostly I get up and take my god Albus out for a walk around the park and then head to the gym and then get to work in my studio.
What is your ideal Saturday like? I love spending time with my friends so I guess an ideal Saturday would be a morning in the gym then lunch with friends.
What is the best gift you have ever been given? My miniature dachshund Albus as he gives me so much joy. Also my Alessi Cocktail shaker – I LOVE my Vodka Martinis.
Where would you like to travel to? I would really love to visit the West Coast of America and go back to Iceland.
If you had three spaces in your home to fill with absolutely any works what would they be? Would have to be a Keith Haring dancing painting, Andy Warhol “Marilyn”, and Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog”.
Can you share a few words of wisdom for those wanting to get into any creative industry in 2017? I guess the biggest thing is self -belief, valuing yourself and your work. To also reach out to everyone that you wish to work with.
What would you like people to take away from your art? I guess to get enjoyment from the work and possibly for me, my work can be nostalgic.
Is there a collection of anything you would like to photograph if the sky was the limit? I’d love to photograph Kylie Minogue’s shoe collection. For the tiny size and also her amazing collection of Louboutins!