January 12 – March 31, 2024
Over the past ten years I have been photographing the presidential candidates as they lead rallies, meet with voters and plead for their votes. I started just before the government shutdown in 2013 at a tea party rally at the U.S. Capitol. Politicians railed against the president and the Affordable Care Act — a show to get a sound bite into the next news cycle.
Since then I have followed the political spin as it tilts its way to November. Donald Trump’s entrance into the race, taking control of TV talking heads, making the media his press agent, is true Political Theater.
Huber Heights Ohio
after he called for a FBI investigation at judiciary hearing
After a Trump rally in Lowell, Mass., a father said to his sons, “Now that was entertaining.” His sons agreed, chiming in with their favorite lines from Trump’s speech. In New Hampshire after Bernie Sanders gave a speech, he walked down the stage stairs, and when he saw photographers there he stopped and raised an arm in a power salute.
Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network in NYC
I want to pull back the curtain and show these politicians as they really are. Even though they are in plain sight, they can hide behind words and carefully arranged imagery to project their vision of America. I am using my camera to cut through the staging of these moments and reveal the cold, naked ambition for power.
About Mark Peterson –
Mark Peterson is a photographer based in New York City. His work has been published in New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Geo Magazine and other national and international publications. In 2018 he was awarded the W. Eugene Smith grant for his work on White Nationalism. He is the author of two books Acts Of Charity published by Powerhouse in 2004 and Political Theatre which was published by Steidl in the fall of 2016.His work is collected in several museums including The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. In 2024 Steidl will published his book The Fourth Wall.
Mark Peterson’s monograph Political Theatre, published in 2016 by Steidl Verlag Publishing can be found on their website alongside his upcoming book The Past is Never Dead. Find him on Instagram @markpetersonpixs