Sunday, January 12, 2014

Photographer Series #1: matthushotkatemoss

Dear ishotkatemoss-ers,

I am very excited for 2014 as I have invited a number of photographers I greatly respect to submit their own interpretation of the project and I will be highlighting the work and interviewing them as part of a Photographer Series on this blog.

First up, a special treat: Matthu Placek is an incredible artist who comfortably sits in many artistic worlds, including as a portrait and fashion photographer, where his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, GQ, Elle and The New York Times amongst many publications. He is also a fim maker whose latest project 130919 • A Portrait of Marina Abramović was recently chosen to be part of the 2014 Short Film Program at the Sundance Film Festival.

Richard Philips & Coco Rocha
New York City 2008: Matthu Placek
In Matthu's own words:  
In short, I am an archivist. I'm most interested in creating images as place holders for my memories of events and people. The portraits I make of people are often conceived by personal relationships with the subject and a sensitivity to the architecture and objects which help to tell their story. 

Matthu moved to NYC from Ohio in 1997 to study photography. Since then, he has cultivated his interests in the performing and fine arts through collaborating with notable contemporary artists such as Marina Abramovic, Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Vanessa Beecroft, Richard Prince, Brice Marden, Cindy Sherman, James Ivory, and Yoko Ono. His individual and collaborative work has been exhibited in the US and abroad at MOMA, The Kitchen, Deitch Projects, Mary Boone Gallery, and Galleria Lia Rumma.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to unveal the first submission in the Photographer Series:
iskm: How do you feel your work and your approach to photography affected your submission?
MP: My aesthetic was certainly influenced by my architectural background in photography. I cannot avoid approaching a person as architecture in some ways. In this instance, seeing Kate Moss as a foundation and starting with symmetry is how I approach space and how I consider people in it. 

Chuck Close's Kate 2007
iskm: What did you do to your chosen Kate Moss image and why?
MP: One of the things I have always felt was so alluring about Kate Moss is the fact that she is so nearly symmetrical in a way. She has a structure to her face which allows her endless visual possibilities and representations. Of course, she is not in fact symmetrical however I thought it would make this point clear to duplicate her right side (her "good" side) and truly make her symmetrical. 

iskm: Why did you select the source image that you did?
MP: I chose Chuck Close's portrait as it is a straight forward foundation. Most importantly because it is un-retouched. I was able to duplicate the right side to make her face perfectly even and at the same time mirror what some would consider her "flaws" which I think is an important balance. 

iskm: Your contribution makes me think of the rorschach inkblot test ... what do you see in your image?
MP: A nice little bug. 

iskm: Which photographer would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?  
MP: Richard Prince - I realize he's not a photographer but he is the roots of this approach to imagery right?

iskm: Anything else you want to mention? 
MP: I think that covers everything. This was fun!

By chance, the image that Matthu chose was one of the pieces from the Gert Elfering Collection, the sale of which by Christie's London helped to inspire this project ... so it seems an appropriate choice to kick off the Photographer Series.

We here at iskm are truly honored to have Matthu's involvement. More of his work can be seen at:
His contribution, and that of many others, can be seen as part of the interactive project. 
Observe, slow down, shoot and submit.

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