Mark I. Chester

images from Outcasts

Jerry Zientara - this title has nothing to do with this photograph :
And God looked down upon the devastation that he had wrought and he wept.


Donít ask me what the title means.  I donít have any idea.  Well actually I do, but I wouldnít be able to logically explain it, even if I could.  It was just the thought that popped into my mind when I printed this photograph.  Before printing it, I only saw it on a contact sheet which reproduces a 35mm negative about the size of a postage stamp.  But Iíve never forgotten it.  Iíve waited a long time to exhibit it because psychologically, it is more similar to work I was doing in 1983 than it is to work I was doing in 1985.   

Jerry was a friend of Robert Chesley, who often encouraged me to photograph his circle of friends, artists, and theater people.  Jerry was involved in underground art, sex and theater circles.  He loved events.  Decadent cheap spectacle.  Not that thereís anything wrong with decadent cheap spectacle, but the events were also much more than that.

I love the uncertainty of this image.  The cardboard cross with holes, held over the face, raises the face to a generic yet iconic level.  Along with the wreath like material held around the head, like a crown of thorns, the image seems to speak both of spirituality and destruction.  Or maybe itís just some weird guy in a freight elevator.  Or maybe itís something else.  Donít ask me.  I just took the photograph.