San Francisco Open Studios
Six on Sex

Mark I. Chester

Mark I. Chester

Mark I. Chester has documented his life in San Francisco’s gay leather and radical sex underground since 1979. This dark explicit on-going photographic diary mirrors the tremendous changes in the gay community during the 1980’s from sexual obsession, to loss and grief, through spiritual exploration to sexual healing and back to sexual excess. His black and white images combine elements of normally exclusive photographic genres: fine art photographic portraiture, social documentary work and sexual photography. Mark's work is sexually explicit, socially conscious, politically provocative and artistically taboo.

During the last 3 years, due to economic issues, Mark has switched to color digital photography, taking photographs of gay men looking to make hook ups on the internet and photographing anyone who shows up at his studio during the Dore Alley and Folsom St. Fairs. While this work is much more commercial in nature, it is still about discovering the sexual icon within.

Copies of Mark's 1996 book, "Diary of a Thought Criminal" will be available for sale.

Mark's digital photography