‘Decon, Recon’, a shortening of ‘deconstructed, reconstructed’, is how the self-proclaimed, ‘out-of-control freak’ and fashion photographer, Mark Lebon, describes his style. Blurry, stilted, scratched and adjusted, his work is defined by the atmosphere and magic of an image.
Lebon’s work allows for the subtle juxtaposition of fantasy and reality with a process fitting cohesively with his shibboleth: ‘Living the dream, keeping it real’. He advocates chaos, the kind that celebrates unpredictability. When one is free to accommodate the unexpected, the possibility of something new presents itself. Here, Lebon finds order.
Fashion, photography and art are often used as a mouthpiece for political conversation. Do you involve politics in your work?
“I make a conscious effort to avoid social politics. Part of the decision to be a fashion photographer was letting go of the notion of being able to change the world. I started to embrace an inner journey of personal change. Rather than trying to change the outward community, which I realised early on was hopeless, I focused on family, friendship, creative collaboration, and love-based politics.”
The colour yellow emanates from your Instagram page. What is your relationship to the colour?
“I was never very good at colour, so I thought it was about time to try. I decided to get a favourite colour. Yellow. Mimosa and daffodils come out in early spring, it’s such a lovely way of seeing the end of winter and new life. Then to my delight, I watched the Julian Schnabel film about Van Gogh, and we were told yellow is his favourite colour, so I thought: ‘Not a bad start’. Now I’ve got a favourite colour, I thought: ‘I’ll try and have others’. Sky blue followed. Then I looked at the Buddhist prayer flags and I didn’t understand the colours. I like the red, yellow and green, harking back to my hippy days. I separated them to resolve the clashes, then looked into them co-existing with the remaining white and blue and sort of developed my own colour theory.”
What lessons have you learnt during your career and what advice would you give to your younger self?
“Discovering that, if moderated, my weaknesses are also my strengths.”
Do or Be?
"Do. Am pretty crap at being, so doing feels like it’s the only option. I’m surprised I chose 'Do' as I thought I choose 'Be'. Very interesting…. 'BeDoBe' is probably the best way to go."