Home—Charleston, SC. Agent—c/o Author's Mail, Quantuck Lane Press, 145 East 16th St., Suite 20A, New York, NY 10003.
Curator, photographer, and author. Light Factory, Charlotte, NC, executive director, 1985-86; San Francisco Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, associate director, 1986-89; State University of New York, Potsdam, director of Roland Gibson gallery, 1992-94; College of Charleston, Charleston SC, director of Halsey gallery, 1994—, and associate professor of arts management. Exhibitions: Photography included in "Tabula Rasa" series, touring U.S. cities and Paris, France, and at Detroit Institute of Arts, 1985.
(With Roger Manley and Michelle Van Parys) Hoaxes, Humbugs, and Spectacles: Astonishing Photographs of Smelt Wrestlers, Human Projectiles, Giant Hailstones, Contortionists, Elephant Impersonators, and Much, Much More!, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1990.
(And editor with Roger Manley and Michelle Van Parys) Dear Mr. Ripley: A Compendium of Curioddities from the Believe It or Not! Archives, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1993.
(With Roger Manley) Self-made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environments, Aperture (New York, NY), 1997.
Wild, Weird, and Wonderful: The American Circus, 1901-1927, as Seen by F. W. Glasier, Photographer, Quantuck Lane Press (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Rarest of the Rare: Stunning Specimens at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, for HarperCollins, 2004.
Mark Sloan is an artist and curator with a bent toward the unusual. He has served as director of the Halsey Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1994, and is an associate professor of arts management at the College of Charlotte. Sloan is also a successful artist whose work has appeared in exhibitions both in the U.S. and in France.
Sloan's first book, Hoaxes, Humbugs, and Spectacles: Astonishing Photographs of Smelt Wrestlers, Human Projectiles, Giant Hailstones, Contortionists, Elephant Impersonators, and Much, Much More!, written with Roger Manley and Michelle Van Parys, collects unusual historical photographs. Noting that the photos included "seem like dramas condensed into a single intriguing moment," Ralph Novak pointed out in a review of the book for People that "the events [these photographs] recorded were once real phenomena—current, hip entertainment."
Sloan rejoins Manley and Van Parys in continuing their examination of oddities in Dear Mr. Ripley: A Compendium of Curioddities from the Believe It or Not! Archives. The book compiles photographs from the files of Robert LeRoy Ripley, whose name has become synonymous with the strange and unbelievable. Ripley, a newspaper cartoonist, used these pictures as the basis for many of his cartoons, yet the photographs themselves are "breathless, Barnum-esque, …graphically simpler and stronger, emotionally more complex" than the cartoons, suggested Eric Levin in People.
In the photographs collected as Self-made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environments Sloan and Manley shift focus to the world of folk artists. Donna Seaman, reviewing the 1997 work for Booklist, commented that the chosen photos "all have an aura of sanctity, or ritualized creativity and devotion." She continued, "Manley, Sloan, and their contributing photographers have done a great service here by preserving these precious, out-of-the way, and very fragile sites."
Wild, Weird, and Wonderful: The American Circus, 1901-1927, as Seen by F. W. Glasier, Photographer features promotional photographs of circus life taken by Glasier, a commercial photographer. "As a sustained document of circus life at this time, there is no known equivalent" notes Sloan of Glasier's work. David Bryant, reviewing Wild, Weird, and Wonderful for Library Journal, called the photos "profoundly sad," but noted that they "testify to the circus's multiple functions as art, culture, and lifestyle, as a working zoo or a window on human deformity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 1997, Donna Seaman, review of Self-Made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environments, p. 679; February 15, 2003, Ray Olson, review of Wild, Weird, and Wonderful: The American Circus, 1901-1927, as Seen by F. W. Glasier, Photographer, p. 1029.
Entertainment Weekly, February 21, 2003, Chris Nashawaty, review of Wild, Weird, and Wonderful, p. 154.
Library Journal, April 15, 1998, Judith Yankielun Lind, review of Self-made Worlds, p. 72; February 15, 2003, David Bryant, review of Wild, Weird, and Wonderful, p. 131.
People, January 21, 1991, Ralph Novak, review of Hoaxes, Humbugs, and Spectacles, p. 32; September 6, 1993, Eric Levin, review of Dear Mr. Ripley, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, January 13, 2003, review of Wild, Weird, and Wonderful, p. 52.*