MARK CHESTER has been a professional photographer since nineteen & seventy two.
He was Director of Photography and staff photographer at ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), in New York City. His photographs are in the permanent collections of Baltimore, Brooklyn, Corcoran, Denver, Portland (Maine), and San Francisco museums, among others.
National museum and gallery exhibitions of his work, solo and group, include OK Harris and SoHo Photo (NYC); Camera Obscura (CO); the San Francisco Airport, and other venues. Chester is a Copley Artist member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston.
His photographs also accompany his own travel articles as published by the L.A. Times, Boston Globe, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor among other newspapers and special interest magazines.
His 1987 traveling exhibition and catalogue "Shanghai in Black and White" commemorated San Francisco's Sister City as part of a cultural exchange program displayed at the Fort Lauderdale, FL, Museum of Art; The Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC; and the San Francisco Main Library.
Chester's first book Charles Kuralt's Dateline America was described by Norman Ornstein in the Washington Post: "This is a book of essays with photographs, not a picture book with text, but Mark Chester's photographs deserve a showcase of their own. Beautifully textured in shades of black and white, they remind one of those that Walker Evans did for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression. And they are as varied as Kuralt's essays. They make a good book even better."
His subsequent book No in America, accompanied by George Toomer's text and with a foreword by Edwin Newman, earned the photographer praise by the San Francisco Focus noting that he “...has a wry eye for irony, an existential sense like Sartre's, although No Exit was a loose translation. Chester documents the places where the establishment puts its heavy foot down, the “no” place that is his special turf. The proofs are in his collection, No in America....”
Mark Chester's Twosomes touring exhibit and companion book from Un-Gyve Press represents images culled from his forty years of traveling with a camera, presented in pairings related by subject matter, graphic interest or, as the photographer puts it, “a stretch of the imagination.” — a wide-reaching body-of-work that connects architectural icons with sidewalk signage; Japan with Iowa; 1979 with 2002; celebrity with passerby in a manner that reveals, as novelist Paul Theroux describes, “tremendous humanity and humor....In this juxtaposition of matching moods and paraphernalia, Mark Chester shows us in an ingenious way how the world is related and how we matter to each other.”