Pierre Gonnord Interview: Old Master Styled Portraits of Southern Portugal’s Gypsies

© Pierre Gonnord, Anibal 1, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC.

© Pierre Gonnord, Anibal 1, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC.

Pierre Gonnord’s The Dream Goes Over Time, his latest exhibition at Hasted Kraeutler, takes its name from a line written by the poet Federico García Lorca. Much like Lorca, who was drawn to writing about people living outside a modernizing world, Gonnord photographs the people who live in the Alentejo region of Portugal, a region that has been outside modernizing influences for generations.

In respect for the culture he finds, the French photographer avoids exoticizing. The Old Master styled portraits are done only after an involved time spent traveling and living with those he intends to photograph. “Our loneliness is a beautiful thing to share,” he says. “The portrait is the story of an encounter before it is the process of creation.” The Dream Goes Over Time will be on view until April 25th at the Hasted Kraeutler art gallery in New York.

© Pierre Gonnord, Maximiliana, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC.

© Pierre Gonnord, Maximiliana, 2014. Courtesy of the Artist and Hasted Kraeutler, NYC.

I’d like to start with a quote that popped into my head while looking through your work. It’s from Roberto Bolaño’s short story Dentist:

“That’s what art is, he said, the story of a life in all its particularity. It’s the only thing that really is particular and personal. It’s the expression and, at the same time, the fabric of the particular. And what do you mean by the fabric of the particular? I asked, supposing he would answer: Art. I was also thinking, indulgently, that we were pretty drunk already and that it was time to go home. But my friend said: What I mean is the secret story . . . The secret story is the one we’ll never know, although we’re living it from day to day, thinking we’re alive, thinking we’ve got it all under control and the stuff we overlook doesn’t matter. But every damn thing matters! It’s just that we don’t realize. We tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, we don’t even realize that’s a lie.”

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Marc Yankus Interview: Seeing Beauty in New York’s Old, Forgotten Buildings

Marc Yankus

The Space Between, Marc Yankus’ most recent project exhibited at ClampArt, started one day after Yankus had returned from photographing the Goldman Sachs building in Manhattan. “When I got back to my studio and opened the image on my computer I noticed that I could see every single detail of the building,” Yankus told me about the moment. “I found it fascinating.” In keeping with that initial fascination, Yankus shot the photos for this project, unlike much of his previous work, with a precise, hyper-real focus.

He also digitally altered the light and reality of many sites he found. In some photos, buildings have been erased or faded, while many feature a textured, sandpaper-like background. City life is often removed and reality softened. Yankus considers his images as attempts to rebuild New York. He revives the beauty of overlooked or forgotten materials — sees in concrete, brick, and city light traces of past wonders. I spoke to Yankus over email about New York City and The Space Between.

Yankus’ work is represented by the gallery ClampArt in New York City.

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(NSFW) Bang Rang Interview: Naked Bodies Like Poems, the Dark Erotica of Sanghyeok

Bang Sanghyeok

I know nearly nothing about South Korea’s Bang Sanghyeok. Aside from finding one prominent feature on Juxtapoz, I couldn’t find much else. I do know that the South Korean photographer also goes by Bang Rang. Other than that, I can’t say much about him. Still, even in its obscurity, his photography isn’t hard to notice.

It’s dark. It’s messy. It’s dramatic. Unlike a photo you might see in Playboy, his photos don’t obliterate the organ of volition or soul from nakedness. He finds the absolute zero of it: the wonder of baring who you are. As a result, the women he photographs are incandescent and vulnerable, their stares burning through the photos. In their stark blacks and whites, he’s captured a brutal spirit of stripping away pretense.

In this interview, Sanghyeok talks about porn, nudity, and his photography.

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Damien Maloney Interview: The Not-So-Hidden Beauty of Modern-Day Color Photography

Damien Maloney

Damien Maloney had no intention of becoming a photographer. After graduating from Arizona State, he had planned to go to law school. He wore a suit and tie five days a week. He was on a sure path to settling into that life. Then, photography happened. While working as a photo editor at his college newspaper, he got hooked taking portraits.

So instead of entering law school, he moved to San Francisco and began assisting other photographers, while working on his studio work. And he hasn’t looked back since. Maloney has been featured by Wired, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, Billboard, San Francisco Magazine, and Slate, among others.

We spoke over email about his work, his photography friends, and his great eye for color.

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Michael Benson Interview: Space Probes, 2001: Space Odyssey, Keats, and Photos Made at the Very End of Our Reach

The Ultraviolet Sun, TRACE, July 30, 1999 [2010]

The Ultraviolet Sun, TRACE, July 30, 1999 [2010]

“Then felt I like some watcher of the skies / When a new planet swims into his ken.”

I walked to the edge of Los Angeles one night. I was alone. It was winter and one of my last times there. I went to record the sounds of the ocean so that I wouldn’t be without them. It was cold. Like the stars, city-light only warms you when you’re close. I thought then of a distant star — so far away enough you’re unseen. I stood above an inscrutable darkness, an abyss of ocean inches from my feet.

The night and the ocean and the stars. That moment I could have died and forever been happy. I let something inside me soar. I couldn’t make sense of it. I thought: Yes, I am small, I am brief.  I thought of smaller things. An insect crushed against the stars. Better yet: If I am nothing, I am infinite. The ocean kept roaring its lullaby. I could have fallen in love. I faced the night and looked up.

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Emily Shornick Interview: The Cut’s Photo Editor on Sociolinguistics, Nickelodeon, Frustration and GIFs

barbie-experience-09.nocrop.w1800.h1330.2x

Photo: Amy Lombard

From Ask Polly’s advice column, which is one of the world’s most downright honest — seriously, go here now if you haven’t read her (goddamn, she’s so good! Polly writes as my drunk uncle would talk — knocking sense into you with little jabs of empathy and wisdom, hits so heavy since your record’s clean, your ego unbruised) — well, from Ask Polly to their coverage of the world’s fashion, New York magazines The Cut has become the go-to site for the latest beauty, culture, and celebrity news for millions of millennial women, and men.

I’ve been reading them since high school, nearly eight years ago, before their redesign in 2012. That same year, Emily Shornick was brought in as their photo editor to help their relaunch. Since then, Shornick has led their turn toward high-end glossy looks and high-res, in-depth photo features, overseeing nearly all images published there. Before The Cut, Shornick worked at Lucky magazine. She spoke to me over email, ahead of this year’s New York Fashion Week.

In this interview, Shornick talks about working at The Cut, explains her ideas on photography, and reveals how you should pitch yourself to magazines.

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Bettina Rheims Interview: Insights from a Three Decade Career Shooting Eroticism

©Bettina Rheims

Josie I, Paris, Septembre 1989 (“Modern Lovers”)

Bettina Rheims is one of photography’s greats: in her early years, she mentored under Helmut Newton; in 1981, she published her first photo book, Portraits; in 1994, she won the Grand Prix de la Photographie of the City of Paris. Born in 1952, she worked as a model before becoming a photographer. She is known for producing erotic and, at times, controversial images.

She has also been exhibited around the world, including stays at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris and Gallery Daniel Wolf in New York. She has shot fashion and celebrity work with Elle and L’Officiel, among others. Rheims lives and works in Paris. We spoke over email.*

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Erwin Olaf Interview: A Retrospective of Waiting, Images Caught Between Stillness & Collapse

Erwin Olaf

“Something so animal-like: hunger, lice, slime, these crazy sounds … something horrible, but nonetheless something powerful … under no circumstances could I miss it!”

Over the past ten years, Erwin Olaf has won some of the most prestigious awards in art, including a Johannes Vermeer Award, a Lucie Award, and a Photographer of the Year selection by International Color Awards. He has also had his work exhibited in many of the world’s top galleries: the Annenberg Space for Photography; the FNAC Collection in Paris; and the Hague Museum of Photography in the Netherlands.

Selections from his entire work are now on view at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York City until February 15th. The images were pulled as celebration of his most recent publication with Aperture, Olaf: Volume II (2014). They form a retrospective of Olaf’s stellar career and also showcase Olaf’s attention to capturing unnerving subtractions of life, moments freed from having to begin or end.

In this brief interview, Olaf talks about how he got his start, explains his debt to Otto Dix, and reveals what a photographer should do to stay true to his or her voice.

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Damien Lovegrove Interview: How to Build a Confident Brand

Damien Lovegrove

Before becoming one of the most well-known photography educators in the world, Damian Lovegrove started as a trainee at the BBC. A little time after that, he was operating one of their cameras. A few years later, he was directing their lights. In the fourteen years at the BBC, Lovegrove says that he learned all that he needed to keep him working to this day.

After the BBC and some years doing commercial work, Lovegrove, together with his wife, Julie, began a hectic period that had him shooting over four hundred weddings throughout Europe in ten years. Eventually, their photographs caught the eye of Martha Stewart. Buzz quickly spread. From there, Lovegrove maneuvered to where he is now: one of UK’s best photographers, with clients around the world, a thriving business, and time to spend perfecting his craft.

In this interview, Damien talks about how he transitioned from the BBC to teaching photography, explains how he approaches boudoir and nude photography, and reveals how he’s able to remain so positive all the time.

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Louise Parker Interview: A Model Photographer in Her Own Words

Louise Parker

A devil’s bargain—do all you can to get everything you ever wanted and see at the end that all you ever wanted isn’t what you gave your life for. Ask for eternal life and get a life remembered in pictures. Your image will outlast us all, the bargain goes. You will be eternal. You will always be here. And that’s the moral of it. Nothing is as it seems.

Take what you see in Louise Parker’s photographs for example. Of course, you’ll see a world most of us will never know. You will see beautiful people and beautiful lands. Everything you could ever dream about, yes. But if you look closer, and if you really give a damn about what’s being shown to you, you’ll see the other side to the bargain. You will see frustration, loneliness, and pain.

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