Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photographer Series #10: jeffreyshotkatemoss

Jeffrey Rothstein trained in fashion photography as an assistant to Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Kei Ogata and Dominique Issermann. His first professional assignment was photographing Jean-Paul Gaultier in his Paris studio as he documented the creation of his collections. He then went on to work for Condé Nast, shooting from the streets of NY and Paris, to the beaches of the Caribbean. His fine art photography is on display in a number of major public buildings, is held in private collections and has also been featured in numerous films and television series.

ishotkatemoss was interested in how Jeffrey would approach kate as there seemed to be a constant sexual dialogue running through his art, even the over-stylized, hyper-saturated images he creates from landscapes and nature are rich in overtones …
Jeffrey Rothstein (JR): My work has always been covertly or overtly about sex, sexuality and all things sensual - whether it be luxe vivid colors or directly in my pixilated erotica work. Humans are sexual creatures and a great deal of art and 20th Century photographer has been an expression of sex in some form or another.

iskm: How do you feel your approach to photography/art making affected your submission to ishotkatemoss? 

St Barts from Rothstein's 'Pixilated Nudes' series
JR: I love film. However, after working so intensely on a recent project I was just spent - I had 100's of rolls of film to organize and after making the first set of gallery prints, which were scanned so they are digitally archived, I wanted to do something completely different.
I've had a Tumblr account for 4 years now and wanted to see how to riff, visually sample imagery into new thoughts and even make little jokes. The new series I am creating use my own iphone images with found, public domain, appropriated images and digital images that are all over the interwebs. By doing so, I want to make fun of the serious "ART" world and appropriate the appropriators. Plus there is a huge sexual component and library of images, which goes back to comic books, earlier porn and imagery that has been around for seemingly ever.

Here is Jeffrey’s submission that has just been added to the www.ishotkatemoss.com collage:
Jeffrey Rothstein's Desire has its costs, 2014

iskm: Can you explain your approach to kate, what you are doing and why?
JR: There are too many iconic Kate fotos - I wanted to more make a collage, an impression of The Kate (from here on in she will be addressed as "The Kate") - that is sexy, carnal, distant but edible - perhaps secret or not too secret desires we all have towards her. Fashion is about selling sex ... she has been "the brand" that brands go to and for, for decades. The Kate is a assemblage of many impressions over time, images we have of her and the culture ... one is not enough of The Kate but like Chinese food you want more of her in 45mins. The Kate is a cipher, an impression of a woman, of a particular kind of sexuality that can and wants to be dominant and dominated at the same time but is unattainable.

iskm: How/why did you select the source image/s that you did?  
JR: Random interwebs searches and knowledge of Kate as a phenom since she was but a wee babe in the woods. The non-Kate images in my collage are from the the net - some are very retro and from the 80's, others are Tumblr porn.
iskm: You are the first male who iskm is featuring to specifically look at the idea of sexual identity with, and through, kate. From a man’s perspective, do you have a take on why she has been positioned, photographed, represented and/or used as such a sexual being and presence in this way?
JR: Oh, where to begin. This is this the basis of a post-doc thesis. But to summarize as best I can given the limited horsepower I have under my hood ... Fashion is about desire - the desire to own, to have, to covet that which is almost unattainable - that expensive Hermes scarf, the LV bag, the Gucci shoes. They are all affordable to some degree to the general public. These businesses, such as LVMH and Prada, want you to own their stuff but want you to feel special in the act of buying it. The Kate is the high priced call girl that makes you feel like you are the only one and when you pull the trigger, make the purchase, it's the big orgasm.

iskm: What is it about her?
JR: The Kate is a very odd and unusual aspect of our current global culture. Tied to and created by the fashion world she has transcended and transformed in to a cultural touch stone in the same way perhaps as Jane Birkin did in the 60's though without the inherit musical talent and famous boyfriend - I don't think Pete Doherty is comparable to Serge Gainsbourg. Nor does she have the posh English pedigree that Birkin has but nevertheless The Kate is more than a Hermes handbag. The Kate is ambiguous, almost neutral in a way that anyone can imprint their own desire and fantasy on her; which is I believe is the trick to her longevity. The Kate is a blank sheet. The Sphinx of the fashion world.

iskm: Which photographer/s would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?
JR: My thoughts about a direction … The Kate is beyond but yet inexorably linked to Fashion and it's odd, strange components. I'd say an artist who is good at reiterating culture and making some thing new of it. The Kate is like a new car you get every year: This Year's Model is a little different but all the same in a comforting way. I'd suggest Murakami. The Kate all is a "brand" regardless of who uses her. I can see murals and sculptures of her in a very playful way.

iskm: Thanks Jeffrey! I am now dreaming of having Murakami join us by creating an iskm handbag. I think that being able to buy a knock-off on Canal St. for $5 would be iskm’s crowning achievement!
JR: My pleasure. Creating something specifically with The Kate was easy fun, enjoyable, and spontaneous.

Jeffrey’s work can be seen at www.jeffreyrothstein.com and he has just joined the Kasher/Potamkin gallery so keep an eye out for his upcoming exhibitions there … maybe The Kate will be featured?

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

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