Kurt Markus Sets Mellencamp Documentary Project

Kurt Markus, whose still work has put him in the front ranks of contemporary American photographers is about to embark on a film project that will document a journey he'll be taking this summer with John Mellencamp. Markus' extraordinary vision and focus on the American West has earned him critical accolades over the course of his 35 year long career in photography that has seen his work published in Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, Travel and Leisure, New York Times Magazine, Outside, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue and Best Life as well as overseas outlets. He was recipient of Life Magazine's Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography Award for his Rolling Stone "Sports Hall of Fame" shots of triathelete Peter Kotland.

This summer he will accompany Mellencamp with a classic Super 8 camera, capturing him on tour and as he records an album of new songs. Ian Markus, his son, is his assisting cameraman and will film digitally and capture sound. The expectation is that Markus' approach to production will capture the unrefined truth of his experience with Mellencamp over the course of July and August.

Mellencamp will record the album at a variety of historic locations during days off from his forthcoming summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Sessions will take place at the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA, Sun Studios in Memphis and San Antonio's Gunter Hotel. Much of the album will be recorded on location using AMPEX 601 tape recorder made in 1951 and an RCA microphone from 1949. At Sun, Mellencamp and a rhythm section will use equipment similar to that which Sam Phillips used when he first recorded Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and the other legendary Sun Records artists. T Bone Burnett, who produced last years critically acclaimed Life Death Love and Freedom is producing No Better Than This as well.

Markus, who was born in Montana and still lives in that state, made his mark in landscape, figure study, celebrity, fashion and travel. Exhibitions of his work have been mounted by the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Hills Gallery, Halsted Gallery, Staley-Wise Gallery, Gallery for Contemporary Photography and Galleria Photology. Markus published several monographs, including After Barbed Wire, Buckaroo, Dreaming Georgia, Boxers, Cowpuncher, and Dune. He has undertaken commercial assignments for Armani, BMW, Sony, Levis, Calvin Klein and Nike.

The film project is the not the first time that Markus will have worked with Mellencamp. He shot stills at the time of the release of Cuttin' Heads (2001) and, more recently, the cover images seen on the Freedom's Road album.

Staley-Wise Gallery in New York, The Rose Gallery in Los Angeles and Photology in Milan represent Kurt Markus' work.