Blog Menu

Gritty Industrial Imagery: Photography by Mark Essner

A photo of the side of a textured wood barnMosaic Barn

Mark Essner, today’s featured artist, is a photographer from Waterloo, Ontario. Mark’s gritty industrial imagery sometimes even harkens to urban exploration practices.


A photo of a sign in front of a fried chicken restaurantBrothers

A screen capture of the front page of Mark Essner's websiteMark's website,

The photographer makes heavy use of shadow and contrast. I really love the way his images are so unrelentingly sharp, with the texture of every pictured object coming to the forefront. His choice of subject matter often favours planks of wood and steel, train tracks and run down or rusted vehicles.


In Mark’s Potential series, he highlights moments where something perhaps incongruous has happened – a tree growing out of a run-down rooftop, for example, or a stop sign with an inspiring sticker placed on it. Each image is meant to represent a moment of further potential encountered in the everyday. This gallery also features a number of night-shots, highlighting the artist’s propensity for using shadow and contrast to the extreme. 


A photo of a tree growing out of a dilapidated houseReclaimed

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

Read more of Dallas' posts

Make your art portfolio easy

and focus your time on making art.


Try free for 30 days. No payment required.