The Story

Mark Vessey is a British photographic artist whose work is inspired by the idea of creating art from collections of everyday objects.

It’s a balancing act between choosing the right magazines to represent a period in time and the right spines that will sit together and capture that magazine’s identity…

Mark Vessey is a British photographic artist whose work is inspired by the idea of creating art from collections of everyday objects. He spends his life searching for that elusive edition of a magazine; that one book that will make his collection complete. He explores every facet of them with an intensity that only a collector can. He is relentless pursuit of organisation, of order.

Suitably enough, his ongoing body of work is called Collections. It takes inspiration from Vessey’s love of vintage magazines like The Face and Playboy, as well as groundbreaking contemporary titles like AttitudeVessey also celebrates one of the enduring icons of the publishing world the Penguin paperback book.

Individually, these publications are a snapshot in time. When put together in physical and photographic form these collections take on new meaning. After all, this is a time when catalogues of books can be held on a Kindle, when ownership of a vast music collection is just a monthly subscription away.

Vessey explains: “My work is about trying to establish a sense of order. There is comfort in collecting things, studying things that people take for granted, grouping every day objects into such a way that they become something special, seeing how they fit together to become a thing of great beauty.”

His work as a photographic artist has been brought by Kate Moss and Graham Norton and featured in Love Magazine, Creative Review and The Times amongst other publications. Mark’s homage to Kate Moss, depicting the magazine spines of 20 years of Vogue covers with Kate on the cover, was chosen by St Pancras Editions as one of a series of limited edition artworks to be exhibited at St Pancras Hotel. His donated work has raised thousands of pounds for both the Stonewall and Albert Kennedy Trust charities.

He was also the muse for photographer Polly Borland, working extensively with her on her Smudge series of images, along with musician Nick Cave.

Vessey was born and bred in East London in 1982. Inspired by Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley and American pop culture and artists such as Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, Vessey studied photography at Brighton University before returning to his native East End. He used to walk London, immersing himself in the city at night, drawn to areas of the city that were loaded with impact and intrigue. His experiences in the city inspired his first body of work, When I’m Out, which features a dreamlike vision of the bars, clubs and streets of gay culture throughout the world.

Vessey has exhibited at: St Pancras Hotel (Kate Moss Vintage Vogue, 2013), No Walls Gallery in Brighton (Collections, 2012), O Contemporary (SEENE, 2008), The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (Attitude, 2006).