Saturday, November 29, 2014

insta-kate


Finally, for your viewing pleasure on instagram: 
#ishotkatemoss
Follow. Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Photographer Series #13: greggshotkatemoss


Gregg LeFevre has used text and images to create over 200 site-specific public art works that provide insight about the nature and character of particular places. His cast bronze insets can be found underfoot, set in the paving of all types of pedestrian spaces in numerous American cities including NYC, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Seattle and LA.
LeFevre's Edison inset, Trenton, NJ

Having worked “in the streets” as a sculptor, it was natural for LeFevre to begin a parallel career as a street photographer in the early 1990’s. His most important photographic series deals with the role of figurative advertising in the urban landscape. He is especially drawn to documenting what happens when “the photographic fantasies of the advertising world meet the reality of street life in urban centers” … a perfect fit for ishotkatemoss!

iskm: Do you identify yourself as a "street photographer"?
Gregg LeFevre (GLF): I would identify myself as a photographer with a street photography habit. I try to shoot what I see as a dialogue between the advertisers and the city itself: it’s people, it’s artists, it’s installers, it’s construction companies, it’s public works departments, it’s insane people, it’s animal life, then the wind, weather and other random occurrences.

iskm: How/why do you select the source images you choose to photograph?
GLF: I always travel through the city with my camera. Part of what I do is encyclopedic in that I often shoot different examples of the same thing. For example, balloons, homeless people’s carts, spilled paint, chains, pictures of celebrities etc. But outdoor advertisements are for me the richest subject as there are so many levels of interaction, and mediation and transformation of meaning.

LeFevre’s photographic representations document another layer of the sculptural elements within the urban landscape. When asked about kate specifically, he forwarded more than 20 recent images - which are now included in the iskm collage - so it was fascinating for iskm to consider his use of her ever-present visage.
Untitled, Gregg LeFevre's Kate Moss

iskm: Why did you shoot the kate moss images?
GLF: I have shot series of many celebrity and model ads: Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Mike Tyson, J.Lo, etc. I am drawn to all the myriad things that can happen to an outdoor ad, and because I always carry a camera, I shoot every ad that I see of a particular personality, then later I sort them into categories, and choose my favorites in each.

iskm: Some of your favored kate images have been doctored by others. Why are you particularly attracted to the way other people/artists have changed what we would have seen? 
GLF: I do see a dialogue between the advertisers and the city, including the citizens of the city. People respond to ads in very different ways, and when they choose to interact by way of altering an ad, these differences create all sorts of interesting scenarios and elaborations. And of course ads do the same - over and over I have shot ads that contain imagery drawn from the graffiti and street art world. For example there are ads that feature torn away sections, as if they were savaged by someone, or ads that have printed graffiti as part of the ad. One type of situation that I shoot, I call blockheads, where a sticker artist has pasted a sticker, often rectangular over the face featured in an ad. Recently I found an ad campaign on the street doing exactly the same thing, only what appeared to be the sticker art, was actually a sticker printed within the original advertisement.
Untitled, Gregg LeFevre's Kate Moss

iskm: By you 'capturing' it do you feel it is a formal acknowledgement of other's work, which is passing? Do you see this as another form of appropriation?
GLF: I don’t consciously acknowledge their work, but looking at the dialogue they create does highlight their creative participation. And I am definitely appropriating their work. I also have a series of graffiti shots where I have cropped sections of graffiti and street art that reference or look like different established artist’s works. I call it the “Homage Series” and I’ve found various passages in street work that look just like Picasso, Basquiat, Guston, Cristo, Franz Kline and many, many others.

iskm: You title your web site "Unmanipulated" and the portfolio which includes kate "Aberrant Imagery". Can you explain why you use this language?
GLF: “Unmanipulated” is the title of my site because I want to stress that these are documentary images, and not images that have been created by using Photoshop, or other image manipulation programs. “Aberrant Imagery” is just that, because of what the actions of various actors in the urban landscape have visited upon advertising images.

Untitled, Gregg LeFevre's Kate Moss
iskm: How do you feel your approach to photography/art making affected your kate work? Do you see her all the time as a subject?
GLF: Kate Moss seems to have had several resurgences as a presence in the street advertising world. She’s reinvented herself so many times that she’s right back from where she started.

iskm: Do you see your work photographing altered advertisements as a natural progression in the lineage of "street photography"?
GLF: While I am aware of past street photography, I have not in any conscious way tried to extend or align my work with that of past photographers. I am not trying to represent today’s culture, but rather the dialogue, which has existed as long as advertising has been around. Yet by doing so, I am using ads, that when looked at in the future, will be seen to reflect the culture of today.

iskm: Which photographer/s would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?
GLF: Edward Burtynsky, Gursky, Struth, Brassai, Atget - are all photographers that I admire who made social comments, sometimes very subtle, with their photography. Burtynsky, for example shot an amazing series on the destruction of derelict super tankers, cut apart on the beaches of Bangladesh by boys and young men wearing no protective clothing or headgear. While some of the shots are breathtakingly beautiful, they are also social criticism on several levels: how wasteful and ill fated the world's oil industry is, and how little it values human life. I think Burtynsky would turn a keen eye toward the world of consumer advertising, and its super models.

More of Gregg’s work, including the arresting portfolio Aberrant Imagery, can be seen at gregglefevre.com and while walking the streets of NY; his images are currently in the entryway to the Four Seasons restaurant and the windows of the Gourmet Garage plus his sculptures are intertwined in this fair city's sidewalks.

So keep your eyes peeled and as you walk past those distorted advertisements, just like Gregg:
Untitled, Gregg LeFevre's Kate Moss
Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Photographer Series #12: meghannshotkatemoss


Meghann Riepenhoff recently visited New York from her home in San Francisco in order to attend an opening of her own exhibition, Littoral Drift, at Foley Gallery. This body of work was selected, by curator Charlotte Cotton, as the winning portfolio for the Camera Club of New York’s 2014 Annual Juried Exhibition.
Littoral Drift #05, Two Waves
Littoral Drift is a series of camera-less cyanotypes made in the landscape via submerging paper in bodies of water, burying it in sand and exposing in sunlight. These stunning pieces are examples of the way in which Meghann engages a breadth of photographic technologies, transforming “mundane detritus and alter processes to recall telescopic and microscopic views”. In doing so she considers the relationship between the insignificant and the immense, the sublime, impermanence, and the role photography plays in mediating the human experience.

Meghann’s work has been widely exhibited and published. After learning of ishotkatemoss, she quickly expressed an interest in exploring and collaborating with the project. This was intriguing as her work is ethereal, she has created celestial landscapes and spectacular galaxies. In many respects, we were trying to disassociate and dismiss the view of kate, and the ideas of model perfection, as ‘celestial bodies’. Why was she so fascinated by what iskm was doing?

Meghann Riepenhoff  (MR): I'm interested in manipulating processes and materials in fairly simple, yet often previously unconsidered ways. In reconsidering the prescribed ways we relate to media and tools, there is often a revelation around potential, what is/was unseen, and how large of a mystery in which we exist. iskm does this from a completely different, yet relatable, perspective.

iskm: How do you approach a subject such as kate?
MR: A friend and I were talking about Kate Moss and she described her as 'shape shifty' because the photographic representation of her is so varied and even disparate. I thought about the ways identities exist in layers, and how we attempt to articulate or impose them via media. I also thought about the Buddhist 'no-self' theory, where conditioning shapes beliefs we have about self, perception, existence, etc. Images are perhaps the most powerful tools we have for shaping perception, and so I wanted to use leading image technology to play with a picture of Kate I extracted from Aperture's most recent magazine.
Untitled (ishotkatemoss); video still

iskm: Why did you utilize the image that Aperture highlighted in its “Fashion” edition?
MR: My choice was not necessarily about specific content from the “Fashion” edition, but more generally about the mediating nature of context. A publication like Aperture can position an image in a way that is different than any other magazine, and yet the nature of weighting (intentionally or inadvertently) an image is not unique. Stephen Shore described the photographic print as "an object" with "its own life in the world” and explored the implications of a print winding up "in a shoebox or in a museum". So there’s this understanding that a photograph has a life, and changes meaning given context, time, viewership, etc. … and that the experience of a photograph is collaborative, with what it encounters contributing to defining its existence. Also there is the nature of photography itself, which is a constantly evolving medium that regularly redefines itself with technologies and new applications of ideas. 

iskm: What did you to your chosen Kate Moss images and why?
MR: I like to have a certain irreverence toward materials and tools in my practice, to use them in ways not prescribed, in hopes of generating new kinds of results. I also have a love for DIY, low-fi, and residue of process. For iskm, I used a really basic Photoshop tool and simply played with layer opacity. Then I recorded a video of this shifting image with my phone, which I’d propped on my computer with a stack of Post-its before capturing a video still for the iskm collage. When I first learned about iskm, I loved that it teetered on the line of serious and playful, rigorous and casual. In my practice and with this piece, I want the tools I use to be relevant to the subject matter and tone. So for Kate, Photoshop and a Post-it tripod were obvious choices.

Here is Meghann's Untitled (ishotkatemoss) video:
video

iskm: Have you worked with video before?
MR: I have and actually made a video that, very much like the Kate piece, slowly oscillated between two similar images. It was called 'Athens 4am' and depicted a view looking out of a window onto moonlit, bare wintery trees. The focus shifted from the distant trees to the pane of the window, where condensation had collected on the glass. The change was almost imperceptible, but there was never a stasis moment, where change wasn’t happening. Applying a similar approach to Kate seemed in line with the ideas driving this piece.

iskm: How do you feel your approach to photography/art making affected your kate moss work?
MR: I love scientific imagery for the reason that I believe science is constantly revealing just how little we know. Each new image of the cosmos or nano particles reveals that what we previously saw, and therefore believed, is in a state of constant unknown. With Kate, I applied this same curiosity around both the tools and the idea of identity of a thing that is in flux, illusory, and perhaps a disappearing concept all together. 

iskm: Which photographer/s would you most want to most see involved in iskm?
MR: Walead Beshty because I love his banal process that creates literal traces, and yet the image quality transcends that. The crumpled cyanotypes and photograms feel like exquisite representations of some intricate system or place however they're just crumpled paper and light. There's something really smart about his work in how simple the treatment is. 
Also I’m part of this really kickass group called Library Candy and I’d love to see each of those artists (Eric William Carroll, McNair Evans, Lucas Foglia, Jason Fulford, Katy Grannan, Chris McCaw, Richard Misrach, Nigel Poor) respond to ishotkatemoss.

iskm: Thanks so much Meghann.
MR: This was fun.

More of Meghann’s stunning work can be seen at www.meghannriepenhoff.com. Over to you Library Candy!
Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ishotkatemoss turns 1!


iskm was launched on November 2nd, 2013

One year later:
Over 300 images in the collage 
+ 80 blog posts
+ 11 Photographer Series features
= Almost 20,000 views 
from more than 60 countries ...


Can't wait for our terrible twos!

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

How many ways ...


... are we all seeing the same thing over and over again? 

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.