As a member of different humanitarian organizations, his artistic practice is marked by his social awareness and a visual sensitivity. As a young child Lyon became aware of the limitations of human life after the loss of his older brother, Andrew; the discovery of the camera at 12 allowed him to control time, to take back his life. From an early life, Lyon understood human fragility making him sensitive to human needs and the human condition. As a result, he strongly believes the artist’s role is to communicate the biggest issues of today and for Lyon the political is very important. Issues such as globalization, mass behaviour or leisure are at the core of his artistic practice.
Intersection, Limited edition Digital C-type print
Edition of 7 – © Courtesy of the artist
With a series of photographs taken in Brazil, Russia, India and China, Lyon portrays endless buildings flooding city horizons in BRICS. Through these photographs globalization is defined as a phenomenon uniforming urban space. How could we know which image belongs to which country? It is difficult to differentiate, if not impossible, similarity being almost a requirement in modern architecture. Nevertheless, there is an aesthetic asset in uniformity making it symmetrical and balanced, thus agreeable to look at. In Intersection, the roughness of the road’s combined with the colours grey and white, symbolizes the empowerment resulting from shaping nature. No green or blue is visible, nor any forms of nature; Lyon’s lines and arabesques depict a natureless world where human sovereignty is affirmed by architecture once again. However, the human figure is always absent: in a world threatened by ecological disasters, the sole human remains will be these buildings.
Lyon always affirmed his ideas lead. He believes very strongly in having a process guided by what he calls pre-visualisation which consists of seeing an image in your mind’s eye before deciding what equipment to place, or what to photograph.
Rambert III, Strange charm of Mother Nature – © Courtesy of the artist
Furthermore, Lyon’s latest project Somos Brasil explores identity in a country known for its rich and diverse ethnicity. Through the triptych of biological information, vision and sound, Lyon intends to give a voice to the two dimensional image. In his practice, it is not uncommon for him to add multiple layers to photography, for he strongly believes that the camera is the most accurate device allowing him to give shape to his ideas. Lyon always affirmed his ideas lead. He believes very strongly in having a process guided by what he calls pre-visualisation which consists of seeing an image in your mind’s eye before deciding what equipment to place, or what to photograph. Built over 4 years his latest portrait project, Somos Brasil, uses the process of pre-visualisation to explore Brazilian identity through the visual, spoken and genetic information of 100 exceptional Brazilian’s as it emerges as a globally significant economy.
Stadia III – Limited edition Digital C-type print, 149,4 x 122 cm
Edition of 7 + 3 AP – © Courtesy of the artist
According to Lyon, reinvention is the pre condition of remaining a “living” artist. On the one hand, the series Tidelines or Rambert explores concepts such as the passage of time and physical movement in dance and on the other hand, Dreamland, is an incredibly “soft” project showing people asleep in different positions and places. It revisits the human condition exploring sleep, a universal and human need: “Sleep is such an intimate space and there is something quite humorous about it.”
Lyon’s work offers the spectator an intricate and rich panorama of perspectives. He doesn’t preach or expect anything from his audience as he deeply respects people’s visual literacy. He respects the things they see, the things they feel, the questions they ask, especially children, who are amazing at reading images according to the photographer. Moreover, photography subordinates the spectators to new forms of understanding and Marcus Lyon’s work is as objective as possible allowing people to build their own judgment. His artistic practice has always integrated his Political Science degree, hence the respect he feels towards human kind.