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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Mark Chester debuts ‘twosomes’ at Harbor Gallery ahead of book signing

Mark+Chester+at+the+opening+reception+for+his+exhibit+twosomes+at+the+Harbor+Gallery
Mark Chester at the opening reception for his exhibit ‘twosomes’ at the Harbor Gallery

On Sept. 4, the Harbor Gallery held an opening reception for their latest exhibit, “twosomes,” by popular Boston photographer, Mark Chester. The exhibit will be at the gallery until Sept. 25, when Chester will hold an artist talk and a book signing for the public.
The second you step into the room, you are catapulted into a different time period. Every black-and-white portrait is a blank book waiting to be written. You can fill pages and pages with stories of the two subjects, drawing you into their simplistic synchronization, which is as beautifully haunting as it is mysterious. Some photos are livelier than others, while some carry their weight within the stillness of the scene. At times, the twosomes are hard to translate. Some lie on the sill of subtly, while others are more obvious to catch. 
There is a portrait of a small child wearing an over-sized blazer, with the tails just barely touching his feet. There is another portrait of a toddler curiously looking into the lens while holding a woman’s bra. There is a variety of subjects to admire: women dressed in fancy fur coats, people and their pets, animals with other animals, and people paired together.
Chester reflected on his exhibit by juxtaposing the live collection with the book collection; “It is strong as an exhibition, but the book’s sequencing gives it a different flow.”
“There are interactions and relationships between the pictures in the diptychs because of the format.”
It is up to interpretation as to what these interactions and relationships are. He often injects a certain amount of playfulness, but some viewers walk away with a more solemn or serious impression. “Art is open to interpretation,” Chester said.
Despite his work being displayed in a fine arts setting, Chester very much considers himself to be a photojournalist. 
Two photos may tell their own stories separately, but an entirely new narrative when paired.
One photo in Chester’s exhibit seems to have a place within his own narrative. “[It] brings back a moment of memory,” he stated. There is one photo of a woman sitting below two animal pelts hanging on the wall. Chester was in Tennessee with a writer and spied that woman through a window, where inside she was sitting and waiting for the bus, looking downward, oblivious or uncaring of the giant moose head and animal pelts above her on the wall, something that Chester found laughable. 
 To contact Mark Chester, email him at [email protected]