Mary Kocol

Mary Kocol photographer

Mary Kocol is an art photographer and Massachusetts Master Gardener. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut and now lives and works as a museum photographer near Boston, Massachusetts. See her work here.
From: Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
Shows: Anthotypes and Solargrams

Mary Kocol studied photography at University of Connecticut and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she also studied film animation.
Her pictures were first exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art’s acclaimed group exhibition and catalog, Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort in 1991. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for photography in 1993. Her earlier photographs were published in Aperture, The New York Times Magazine, DoubleTake Magazine, and are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her photographs are represented by Gallery NAGA in Boston.

During the Covid-19 quarantine of 2020, Mary Kocol’s urban garden became especially meaningful as she explored the historic Anthotype process. She made photograms from garden plants, and portraits to capture the essence of a person. Roses, irises, wild black raspberries, peas, and morning glories became a poetic medium to imprint these faces of family and friends whom she missed seeing in real life during the lock down. Flowers remind us of life and beauty and are revitalizing to have around. Living during a pandemic taught us that life is ephemeral and fragile, the fleeting Anthotype expresses this perfectly.

Mary also enjoys making solagrams from a pinhole camera. A native New Englander, she is inspired by dramatic weather, the ocean, and old gardens.

“As a gardener turned anthotypist, I’m eager to see what else plants could do besides be beautiful and be eaten.”

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