Name: Marc St.Onge
Home: Russell, Massachusetts
Photographic turn-ons: dramatic lighting, repeating patterns, unique textures, decisive moments.
Photographic turn-offs: dead batteries, broken cameras, uncooperative subjects, indecision.
Favorite color: Blue. No, red. Reddish blue is nice too. Maybe not.
Photographic influences: Jay Maisel, Elliott Erwitt, Arthur Penn, Duane Michaels, Harold Edgerton, Philippe Halsman, Yousef Karsh, Arnold Newman, Joel Meyerowitz, and many others.
Other artistic influences: John Singer Sargent, Gustav Klimt, Scott Prior, any of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, William-Adolphe Bougereau, Johannes Vermeer, Auguste Renoir, watercolor paintings.
Major transformative moment in photography: my first mentor showing me how to drive a car while holding a beer between the knees.
No, really: the first time someone gave me money for one of my pictures.
Seriously: watching a print appear for the first time in a tray of developer – magic! I was hooked.
Downside of getting hooked on photography: school studies just weren’t that interesting any more.
Describe your artwork in as many words as will fill the rest of this page: I like finding the unusual in the usual. Gertrude Stein wrote “A rose is a rose is a rose” but to me a rose backlit by the sun is different from one glistening with morning dew or sitting alone in a vase or clenched in a dancer’s teeth. I like to return to familiar subjects at different times and conditions to see how time has changed them – perhaps to see if time has changed me as well. To the camera, time is most often measured in small increments – one thirtieth or one hundredth or one four thousandth of a second. Being able to make a statement, an honest observation, a poem if you will about something by recording only a thousandth of a second of its existence is what I enjoy about photography. Not to namedrop but my good friend Henri Cartier-Bresson (just kidding, we’re not that good friends) used the term “the decisive moment” but I’d like to call it “the definitive moment”. It’s when the picture goes beyond the “thingness” of the subject and uses whatever elements are at hand – light, shadows, patterns, textures – to make the subject come to life, to tell its three dimensional story on two dimensional media.