There is a distinctively painterly quality about the photographs of Marc Yankus.  The landscape of New York becomes an urban collage of decay, grime, optimism, and renewal all while appearing as a blur straddling the past and the present.  Yankus went into greater detail on Saatchi Online about the source of his inspiration as being” fascinated with the city in its rare moments of tranquility as it sinks into slumber, as it rouses itself to face a new day.  At such times the city is all abstraction looming shapes, diffused light, spectral shadows.   In these moments of transient repose, when its elements are briefly cloaked in softness, a kind of beauty envelops even the most mundane street scenes and my work aims to capture that ineluctable quality.”


Lava, 2011, Pigment archival print.
Lava, Pigment archival print, 2011


Why did you decide to pursue your artistic practice on the East Coast? 

I was born in New York and grew up in New York City and never wanted to leave.

Why not Los Angeles?

California is beautiful but New York is my home.


Giada, 2012, Pigment archival print.
Giada, Pigment archival print, 2012


Tower, 2008 Pigment archival print.
Tower, Pigment archival print, 2008


What do you find distracting about your urban environment?


What do you feel is unique to your city? 

A billion things, the energy, the arts, the museums, the galleries, the Highline, Central Park, Riverside Park, Prospect Park.


Jesus in Costa Rica, 2006, Pigment archival print.
Jesus in Costa Rica, Pigment archival print, 2006


What do you find most appealing about Los Angeles?

Nature.  The ocean and the cliffs.

What artists have influenced your practice the most?  

Robert Frank.


James at 11, 1999, Pigment archival print.
James at 11, Pigment archival print, 1996


Images courtesy of the artist


Marc Yankus is featured within Installation Magazine’s special 20+20 Photography Issue, which highlighted 20 Los Angeles and 20 New York City photographers. Download the full issue on your iPad and iPhone.