The Iowa Source | September 2016

Marc Baraka Strauch has been actively involved in media since his first photography show at the Brooklyn Museum at age 15. His most recent work, P A R A  :  Unbounded Stillness in Motion is at Henderson’s Art Gallery through October 31.

Para, a Sanskrit word, means the suspension of the experience of time and space—transcendence. The colors, richness, subtlety and softness of the images in this show come from Marc’s experiences while in meditation.

 “Whether engaged in artistic activities, working, hitting peak athletic performance or in meditation, everyone has the natural ability to transcend, notes Marc. “The color, tonality, saturation and movement of these images have been bouncing around my head for more than 20 years, but not until recently was I able to artistically create these experiences in a form that comes reasonably close to expressing the feeling level of what I was experiencing internally.”

Marc adds, “As David [Lynch] says, ‘catch ‘the big fish’. I did this while in Spain and Morocco this summer and then within a month launched this show. We are habituated to seeing the same things the same way. But if we take a moment to feel the experience, we can see the “same” world with new eyes and have a new experience.”

Marc continues, “Real-world images are sweetened in Photoshop to abstract form without material or geographic reference. The time or place or material object of these images don’t matter. What matters is how the viewer feels when they see them. Do they see with their intellect or their heart? Providing a contextual reference point, ether as an object or in geography, moves the viewer’s sensory experience into the intellect, which references stored impressions of similar objects from past experiences; this takes the viewer out of the moment and into memory. We spend enough time thinking about the past or projecting the future. I want people to notice what they feel, wherever they feel it, in the moment they see the image. Have they felt that experience before?” The singularity of the moment, that feeling . . . that’s what’s important.”

P A R A : Unbounded Stillness in Motion will remain at Henderson's through the end of October. For more information visit