Some things are never meant to be more than a moment, but often a moment is just long enough. LA-based photographer, Mark Rubenstein, aims to capture fleeting, yet pivotal, moments of personal growth with his lens, archiving his subjects’ intimate and reflective periods of transformation and self-discovery. His most recent series, A Light at the End of the Road, portrays his subjects in various facets of growth and personal evolution, and reflects on how circumstance and experiences shapes us as a whole. Don’t miss it – A Light at the End of the Road will be on display at Hemingway and Pickett from April 17-April 30, with an opening reception the evening of April 17th.
CULT: What do you love most about being behind the camera? Was there a pivotal moment or photograph that you remember that has evolved your personal style?
Mark: What I love about photography is the ability to freeze a moment in time; the ability to create a story within a space. It’s at the core of what I do with the images that I make. All of my work is about a personal transition from youth to adulthood, and what happens along the way. It’s a reflection of a world of contemplation and personal growth. I would say my biggest influence on my personal style would be all the films that I watched as a child. Seeing the world you could create within a film inspired me to tell my own story.
CULT: Are there other artists, both inside and outside of your medium, who inspire you?
Mark: The work of Jeff Wall expanded my world by showing me that you could mix cinematic techniques and tableau’s within the world of standard photography.
CULT: Your recent series, A Light at the End of the Road, is a culmination of photos from the past few years – how has your personal style and perspective adapted throughout the creation of this series?
Mark: My style has changed in the way that I have expanded the world in which I create. With images from Gone By Dawn (my previous series), we are focused on isolated interiors and quite calm moments of thought. With A Light At The End Of The Road, I chose to explore much more expansive worlds and shoot at night. The style that has developed over the last few years is a much more mature vision on the work I create.
CULT: A lot of your work, particularly in this series, reflects a dark and intimate time of personal transition – can you recall any of your own personal moments or memories of transition that have helped shaped you?
Mark: Yes with A Light At The End Of The Road I chose to expand the world and explore a much darker take on life. It is appropriate to address these themes when we talk about a personal evolution. I can think of many moments that have helped shaped me. In particular when I was at the tale end of my time in NY before I chose to leave for Los Angeles. I was on the train one morning and I felt weak, I decided to try to step off the train and get some air. When I did, I passed out face forward and landed on my head, the train doors closed and dragged me away before people had the chance to stop the train. I awoke and the entire train station was surrounding me. This moment of paralyzation expanded my ideas on the fragility of life and helped structure my path and ideas that you must follow signs and follow the path that unfolds. I sold everything I had and moved to Los Angeles never looking back.
CULT: Tell us about your subjects; are they friends or strangers? Have any of them opened up to you about their own stages of personal growth?
Mark: My subjects are all close people in my life. They range from friends, girlfriends and people within the circle that I associate. I have a very close bond with anyone I choose to photograph. I think they each open up in the way they choose to portray themselves in the images. I have had many people cry within the recent of work of A Light At The End Of The Road.
CULT: What feelings, emotions and reactions do you hope that your photos evoke in others?
Mark: I hope people are able to look at these images and look into themselves. To relate to the themes and thoughts we as people can all relate to. The ideas of oneself, growing older, and personal experience.
Don’t miss Mark Rubenstein’s upcoming solo show:
A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE ROAD ” at Hemingway and Pickett.
Thursday, April 17th from 7-9pm.
3208 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Drinks provided by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Music by Hayden Tobin (of Hanni El Khatib)
After party at Thirsty Crow 9:30 till late with Special Guest DJ.