About - Allan Markman

From the Ground Up

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.  It is the beauty of things modest and humble. It is the beauty of things unconventional."
—Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren

The subject of this series of photos are tiny and abandoned objects. They are both organic and man made. I coax beauty from the ignored, unseen and discarded detritus of our industrial urban culture. Rusted nuts and bolts, mysterious metal fragments, railroad spikes and shards of glass are combined with flowers, berries, mushrooms, moss and weeds to create minute compositions and sculptures (most often fitting in the palm of my hand). The juxtaposition of these varied objects creates an exciting and unusual visual synergy — infusing new life into what would otherwise be overlooked.

Old Books

Some time ago I found myself paging through People magazine in my doctor’s waiting room. It struck me that most of the ads were directed towards “older” people. When I shared this impression with the doctor and she replied, “Doesn’t surprise me at all. My teenage daughter and her friends don’t do paper.” I was taken aback — Don’t do paper!? So much was revealed in that casual statement. Could it be that there is a whole generation that does not read books? Do they only absorb digital content through their assorted devices?

This series is my homage to “doing paper”, that is, reading and treasuring books—particularly old books. Their texture, off white color, fragility, typography and even their smell can somehow impart infinitely more than mere content.

The Flood

In a metaphorical post apocalyptic dreamscape our hero travels through a flooded world on an improbable makeshift raft. These travels provide a glimpse of a dystopian society where something has gone horribly wrong.

People have adapted in unexpected ways — cars are now ritualistically pushed into the river; apartments completely submerged under the water still have their lights on. Are they airtight and do people still live there somehow? A young girl is still transfixed by her cell phone. The elites enjoy their pleasures on protected high ground.

Artist Background

• University fine art degree with a concentration on ceramic sculpture and painting.

• Formerly the Art Director of the Graphic Design Department at the United Nations in New York

• Now devotes himself full time to fine art photography.

• Author/designer of the book of photographs- Door Jams: Amazing Doors of New York City

• Group show  of United Nations poster designs - Carriage House Center for Arts, New York.

• Member of Soho Photo Gallery Cooperative

• Lives in New York with his family.

• • • • • • • •

"From the Ground Up" solo exhibition at the Soho Photo Gallery, NY, September 2017

• Finalist in the 2016 and 2017 Critical Mass Photo Competition

• First Place in the Proify Annual International Photography Awards 2016 — Macro Category

• Finalist in the 12th National Photography Competition and Exhibition, December/January 2016 - FotoFoto Gallery, Huntington, NY.

• Finalist in the Sohn Fine Art Gallery’s 2016 5th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition.

• Group show Sohn Fine Art Gallery - May/June 2016

• Group show -Vanitas- Sohn Fine Art Gallery - August/September 2016


These beautifully arranged, lit and photographed still-lifes of tiny found objects are sublime! There is so much to look at and discover, so much awe and beauty in these tiny overlooked objects. There is an 'Alice in Wonderland' sensibility to this for me.. not just because of the scale, but the surreal imagery: With a nod to such a traditional art genre, at first glance these photos feel 'familiar' but as I look closer, I am seeing 'unfamiliar' objects in such a setting. Yet, as I look again, I realize they are in fact very familiar objects...just ones I never really looked at before. -Hava Gurevich — Artist, reviewer, gallerist

While a Macro Still Life often fits into the palm of my hand, the final photograph can be up to five of six times the original size. A tiny berry might be the size of a baseball. (AA Battery in photo for scale.) Click to see the final image.

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