Monday, March 28, 2011


I heard about artist Mark Hogancamp on This American Life, and found his work fascinating. However, I struggled with how to describe it in my own words, so I will quote from the website:

"After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populates the town he dubs "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and creates life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helps Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds of the attack."

Hogancamp is certainly an unlikely artist. His work was therapy until it was discovered by outside sources who saw it's emotional and visual power. The documentary "Marwencol," coming out on April 12th, follows the artist's story.

What I find so engaging about Mark's work is the storytelling. I struggle with trying to come up with ways to tell a story in a single two dimensional plane, but Mark seems to be a natural. His world is real and surreal at the same moment, evoking the feelings young children have when playing with toys. We recognize the doll-ness of the scene, but can't help but get carried away with the emotional punch of his compositions (Thank you Art Appreciation 101).

But seriously, check it out for yourself.

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