Breathe Again
  • Mark Loughney

20”x30”, colored pencil, graphite, ink, and acrylic on paper, n.d.

Artist Statement

I’ve been in prison for the past nine years, so I’ve done an awful lot of imagining about all kinds of things. There comes a point when the past seems so far behind that memories of a free life become hard to recall – and the future prospect of a return to freedom seems so distant that pondering it seems futile. Its like being stuck in between worlds. But when people are forced to live in a tiny box, that’s when they begin to do a lot of thinking outside that box. I imagine what it would feel like to stand in nature again… to be in the woods and be able to take a fulfilling breath of clean air. I know the traumas I’ve endured during prison will remain with me, and that most of society will always only see me as a convict…. but I am hopeful that with enough sunlight and time, my stripes will fade. And when people are no longer imprisoned, our country’s collective stripes will also fade.

Artist Bio

Mark is an artist currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Artforum, and several other publications and books. See more of his work on Instagram @loughneyart.