Graphis Master: Mark Seliger’s Distinctive Portraits

Mark Seliger is an American photographer whose love for the darkroom began when he was very young, a time where most of his playing around with developing photos happened in his parent’s bathroom. In 1984, he moved to New York City and began shooting for Rolling Stone in 1987. Soon after, he became the Chief Photographer and, during that time, shot over 125 covers for the publication. He has also co-directed music videos, published numerous photography books, and co-founded a non-profit exhibition space for photography called 401 Projects in New York.

He has frequently shot for Condé Nast, Vanity Fair, Elle, GQ, Italian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, and German Vogue. Some of his most well-known photography are his unique celebrity portraits such as the one above of John Malkovich, which was presented in Seliger’s feature in Graphis Journal #364. The image shows Malkovich covered with pigeons, sitting in a worn-down chair. The photo gives off an eerie feeling, with the darker tones and setting. 

Another impressive image is one of Barack Obama (above). Despite how simple this photo is, it shows a lot of emotion. His photography has won him many prestigious awards including the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, Lucie Award, Clio Grand Prix, and Cannes Lions Grand Prix. He is also a multiple Gold and Platinum winner, winning Platinum in the Photography Annual 2018.

What one might not know about, is that along with photography, Mark also has a passion for music. He plays and writes music with his band, Rusty Truck. At one point he got to write with Lenny Kravitz, who he had photographed and worked with many times before. Mark Seliger is truly a man of many talents and continues to inspire with his photography.

See more of Mark Seliger’s work in his Graphis Master Portfolio!

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