Mark Borthwick’s exhibition Soul Surprising Innocent Eyes In combines a selection of his fashion photography from the 1990s, which has never been shown at a gallery before, with more recent photographic and text-based work, and drawings. There is a sense of time unfolding in the exhibition, glimpses of past and present moments woven, together into a loose narrative, as if from a fragmented diary. Clusters and collages of Polaroid images are interspersed with medium-sized inkjet-prints, small drawings, and “letters” written to Borthwick’s alias Will Shine (the name under which he performs as a musician). Borthwick’s photographs are atmospheric, saturated with color, with intensely hued light often adding additional layers to the motifs. The mood evoked by the pastoral scenes and small-scale portraits, by the quiet, gentle drawings and texts is one of pleasure and intimacy, dream-like, at times. Decidedly unassuming, these works may indeed be made for innocent eyes.
In the 1990s, Borthwick gained widespread attention for his fashion photography, which was featured in magazines such as Purple, Self Service, or French Vogue and helped to shape what may now be perceived as the decade’s characteristic sensibility for bohemian experimentation and post-DIY beauty. Since then, Borthwick has expanded the scope of his practice to include “free” photography, as well as drawing, music, and poetry. His large-scale work A Room with a View (2010) is currently on view at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt as part of the exhibition Fotografie Total (until January 13, 2013).
Soul Surprising Eye In will open on July 21, 2012 and run through August 25, 2012. Mark Borthwick will play a concert at the opening.