Friday, July 31, 2015

Photographer Series #20: rebekahshotkatemoss


Last week we were very surprised to find that instagram was informing us that it was ‘National Hot Dog Day’. Not a project to shy away from an opportunity to take advantage of such an important event, ishotkatemoss turned to Google to see if we could find a link between Kate and Hot Dogs … and, surprisingly, came up with three options:

Option 1: Burger
There was Tom Sach’s art video that included Kate squeezing mustard onto a McDonalds burger … 

Close, but no hot dog.

Option 2: Tuna!
It made us laugh so very much but was different type of hot dog than the one we were looking for … you see, a woman by the name of Kristen Spoonts has an understandable infatuation on Pinterest with the little pup ‘Tuna’ – a cute little mixed-breed internet sensation with an unfortunate overbite. Of his many hits is the “I told them my name was Stephen with a ‘ph’ … ” gag:

But on her pin board was this “Kate Moph” effort, which brought tears to our eyes:
Funny, yet not really what we were after, so, we went with Option 3: 'Hot Dog, Kate Moss, Kate Moss'

Rebekah Humphries is currently in her final year studying Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. She creates images using block color and geometry to make the “aesthetic nature of her work the primary objective”. Rebekah creates shapes through applying paint onto wood that are more sculptures than paintings.

Rebekah utilizes color schemes often derived from pixilated images she herself has created from source material seen in everyday life. Rebekah explained that the geometric angles of each artwork interact “with the physicality of the objects to create a sense of space”, while she also opts for non-traditional hanging techniques, such as propping work up against the wall on a brick, thereby creating a further spatial conversation between the sculptural work and the environment in which it is shown.

iskm: How do you construct the pixel sculptures?
Rebekah Humphries (RH): After creating a collage, I scan and edit it in Photoshop. The end result is the pixilated image that you see represented on the board. Once the image is defined comes the most exciting part for me, recreating that image onto the wood through painting with acrylic. I try to mix the colours myself by hand the best that I can to match the photoshopped image, which acts as my source material. Having painted all the lines by hand allows my presence to be apparent in the work, but only on a closer inspection.
For me, the perfection of the straight lines or correct likeness to colour isn't entirely important. I play on the idea that this machine made image has to go through a human to be recreated. From a distance, the lines may seem very straight, but when interacting with the work up close you can clearly see the lines and colour have come solely from me. 

iskm: Have you always created pixelated works? Why did you begin creating the pixel sculptures?
RH: It all began when I wanted to reduce other work I had created to blocks of colour. I’ve always been interested in various colour combinations and found the process of mixing the colours myself very important. The ‘pixels’ just became a part of a process. 
Rebekah's 'Hot Dog, Kate Moss, Kate Moss'
iskm: How/why did you select the source image/s that you did in making the collage? Why Kate Moss?
RH: I made the collage fairly quickly from magazines I had lying around the studio. I was interested in how the context of an image can change dramatically just by placing two different images next to each other and comparisons are instantly made. I didn’t want to think too much about a meaning I was putting in the work, but much more interested in how other people could read these collages and how many different interpretations could arise. I chose Kate Moss just on the fact that her face came up in these magazines so much. Just thinking about how many images of her there are out in the world hurts my head!
iskm: How do you feel your approach to photography affected your 'Hot Dog, Kate Moss, Kate Moss’?
RH: Funnily enough, I’m famously quite bad at photography myself (taking photos of my work is always a nightmare!) but I have always enjoyed collaging. For me and my approach in this work, photography allows me to appropriate images from others to create something new. This way of working where one thing influences the next idea allows me to keep exploring new ideas.


Rebekah's source collage
iskm: Why did you call the sculptural piece "Hot Dog, Kate Moss, Kate Moss"?
RH: After I made the collage, I named the sculpture before I’d even made it. There’s something about the confusion and contrast in the name and the work that mirrors the collage itself. I think the idea of the name began a few years ago when I saw in the National Gallery some paintings by 17th century Dutch artists like Vermeer and the titles of all their work just stated what was in the picture, and I really liked how matter of fact it was. And since I had always had trouble in titling work myself, I thought it was an idea that I could adopt. I think it works well with the work because the title 'Hot Dog, Kate Moss, Kate Moss' seemingly has completely nothing to do with the work when in fact it is the only thing to do with the work. It's like I'm giving the audience everything they need to know but at the same time can feel enigmatic like the idea of pixelation itself. It leaves the work wide open for interpretation with or without taking hints from its title. 

iskm: Did you eat a hot dog on National Hot Dog Day?
RH: I don’t think anyone is actually very good at keeping on top on these national something days unless you see it as a twitter hashtag but I do make sure I try and honour all of the ones that work in my favour! I’ll definitely be ready for Hot Dog Day 2016!

iskm: Which artist/s would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss? Why?
RH: At the moment, I’m really into work by Blinky Palermo and Ellsworth Kelly. I think it would be great to see more abstract work inspired by Kate Moss. Having said that, I can really imagine a Martin Creed type work with a huge wall covered in images from magazines of her face.

Between bites of your hot dogs you can see more of Rebekah’s work can be seen at http://rebekah-humphries.wix.com/home. And keep an eye on her site as she’ll also be showing her artwork again soon in London.

Oh, and like Tuna … Obserph. Phlow Down. Phoot. Phubmit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Appropriation and/or Doctorin' the Jacobs/Moss Part 3.0


A few weeks back, Richard Prince started following the ishotkatemoss instagram feed … an honor bestowed by a tap of a smart phone button, yet a distinction that is as fleeting as your battery life:

Shortly thereafter, through the handle @richardprince1234, Mr.Prince started posting more of his “One Two Three Four” images.
And yesterday, he decided to post an artwork around Marc Jacobs, of course including an image of Ms.Moss (in the number 2 position):
So, in response, and in honor of his following and liking so many of our images, we appropriated and doctored the '1 2 3 4 jacobs' and posted this image on instagram:
Dear Mr.Prince, we have observed, slowed down, shot and submit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Smirking


Every now and again, you have to step back, take a deep breath, think about the meaningful things in life and then laugh in the face of the craziness ...

To help you, here is an image from Alice, a Seoul based design and kidult culture instagrammer who goes by the handle @smirkalice1220:
Smirk Alice: "PlayMobil's my hobby and healing..."
Don't let your kids near this Hugh Hefner inspired lego set!

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Photographer Series #19: geneshotkatemoss ... but not really


Did you know that July 17th is Non Photography Day?

Non Photography Day is a day formed for action and awareness. As stated on the appropriately imageless www.nonphotographyday.com: “Taking part in non-photography day is simple, leave your camera or recording equipment at home and abandon your photo shoots. Whatever your activities that day, appreciate the life of the moment you are in rather than documenting the appearance of it.”

Here, here. While we at ishotkatemoss have decided to address the idea of proliferation by encouraging the appropriation, distortion, confrontation and throwing of more images onto the ever-expanding digital pile of pixels - while also attempting to show the hypocrisy of the image as it exists in modern society today - we wholly support the idea of abstinence, particularly from kate … if not forever more, at least for a day.

However, like a shop-a-holic drawn to a sale, we know people today will be drawn back to their mobile devices, digital cameras and the notion that for something to truly be it must be recorded, downloaded and shared incessantly rather than observed, deeply digested and considered. It is the fact that we don’t believe people can actually breathe and see the world without the validation of the image that we decided on our catchphrase: “Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit”. Our recall, memories and inability to articulate what we see is so lacking without the referencing of the captured image is so incredibly disconcerting.

As a result, specifically today, we are highlighting a submission to the ishotkatemoss collage by Gene Kiegel, aptly titled “Another Kate Moss drawing”:
Formerly a fashion and advertising photographer, Gene is a NY based artist whose work transcends the boundaries of various disciplines, both in photography and contemporary fine art.  He works in series and utilizes various media that he deems best serve the concept. Gene states: “I prefer to work with mediums that offer an element of organic interaction or destruction. I find that working in such a way has a strong resemblance to our life experience.” 

Using a variety of forms and objects from polaroids to household items to matchbox cars to broken urinals, all of Gene’s series carefully choose to, or re-invent, media and have a deep conceptual undertone … philosophical in nature, often questioning the subjective concept of value by contrasting context, social references and traditions. This is clearly seen in one of Gene’s latest projects titled: ‘Welcome to My Fucking Art World”, an on-going series of more than 70 works that explores the ideas of value in the current art market through the production of large, expensive, limited edition artworks, each of which is a blank canvas with a simply articulated statement in basic black script.

iskm: Why did you come to create ‘Welcome to My Fucking Art World’?
Gene Kiegel (GK): Art has become an artificial stock market, where the price of artwork isn’t based on its quality, concept, effort, success in delivery, education, talent, mastery, etc. but rather on the artificial bubble that has been created around it - an artificial bubble that seems to dominate the entire state of the art world today.  ‘Welcome to My Fucking Art World’ is just a beginning of an attempt to pop the bubble, or at least to start the deflation process.  I want people to become aware of the scam and stop being fooled by the “system”. I want people to start trusting their own taste, educate themselves by seeing more art, understand the roots of various processes, talk to artists and not the curators who often think they know more than the artists themselves.

iskm: Why did you transition from fashion photography to fine art and reject the business?
GK: Fashion photography for me was an excuse to create art in a highly visible environment – magazines and adverts.  Fashion design is an artform in itself, not to mention the human body, make-up and hair design possibilities. I was more of an art director with a high skill set that allowed me to bring my ideas to life … Over the past decade, the craft became more about illustration and post-production, which interested me far less. The idea of an artist, as probably one of the few professions where you just need some space and supplies to create your work really intrigued me and gave me an idea as a photographer to stop spending my full time chasing clients and dedicate it towards creating art.

iskm: Why "Kate Moss"?
GK: Kate Moss was an exception - she was somewhat a statement of A new era. The whole idea of her was to introduce the "girl next door" – meaning, you too can be a model. That was a beginning of a brainwashing era in fashion where instead of the unobtainable they targeted common people and let them feel they can actually reach that goal. That's when the era of a beautiful supermodel was over …  the doors opened up for almost everyone to model, the quirkier the better.

iskm: Why did you choose to use the word "drawing"... relative to say using "picture", "photograph", "image" or even “painting”?
GK: Good question. I had to think about it myself. I didn't want to use the word “painting” as it somehow implies traditional master painting to me, as its origin. I didn't use ‘image’ as that would mean some magazine cut-out, collaged into the work. ‘Picture’ also implies ‘photograph’ and if you get to shoot Kate Moss you have probably been in the field for a while and are widely accepted unless you are her close friend or a paparazzi. So “drawing” is sort of an early stage painting - the term that I'm using to describe contemporary art. It's almost like an effortless sketch – similar to Richard Prince’s approach with his Instagram series, where he comments on one of the photos “I don’t need to paint anymore. Ur doin it all for me.”. 

iskm: How do you come up with your ‘Welcome to My Fucking Art World’ statements?
GK: I think they rise out of frustration of “being” in the art world and seeing it from the sides of artists, buyers and galleries … 
Have you ever walked into an opening of a prestigious gallery, looked at the artworks, their price tag, the quality of the actual work, all the press around it with people praising and writing about the amazing artist and all you could think was “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME”? It’s like the tale of the emperor and his new clothes. I think the statements are very relatable so I think just by reading them you would either know exactly what I’m talking about or have no idea.

iskm: What others from this series do you feel relate to the concepts underlying in the ishotkatemoss project? Why?
GK: Well, anything that’s reusing clich├ęs is pretty much an easy way out to relate to your audience, so works like "ANOTHER SKULL PRINT", “ANOTHER DISNEY CHARACTER” and “ANOTHER MARILYN DRAWING”.  I feel that the commercial art market is targeting easily recognizable iconic images as an easy way to relate to the consumer. In fact, it’s happening everywhere, not just in art – the pop-art movement, the mass-produced clothing of one size fits, pop music that isn’t really there to make you think or engage emotionally, everything is basically going towards the basic primal level.  And, of course, like Marilyn before her, Kate.
 
Look at the iconic figures of our time – Kim Kardashian for example – another socially manufactured bubble to which masses fall prey.  It’s not based on people’s own taste, nor judgment. Most people are so brainwashed by the media that it forms their opinion – in almost everything – fashion, beauty, values. They dismiss and suppress their objective opinions and start using socially manufactured standards as their own.  It provides a better sense of security and approval of their peers.

iskm: Today is World No Photography Day? Do you have any feedback for others as to how to deal with the incredible proliferation of images and imagery? 
GK: As far as the word “photography” in general, I feel that it has really changed and keeps changing its meaning over the last decade.  From an extremely technical field, where mastery was just as important as the vision, it has moved on to being a starting point for illustration, to social medium, to moving image, to a language of communication. To say that “today is no photography day” would be completely impossible. The imagery is surrounding us – facebook, Instagram, pinterest, twitter, etc. I have learnt from ‘Welcome to My Fucking Artworld’ that the image “This is the most important artwork of this century” is really the heart of Instagram and other social media tools.  We now see artwork, exchange ideas, share our world through our little digital windows.  And that importance, as an image, a single square image, really has become "THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTWORK OF THIS CENTURY".  So, saying that, I want to use Instagram as my digital canvas, where I create art and communicate to people around me, hence the “#genekiegel” that forms part of each piece. In a strange way, I encourage others to do the same. We just need to change the way we actually look at the idea of the image and question its validity.

iskm: Which photographer/s would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?  
GK: None.  I think she has been shot to death. 

If you would like to see more of Gene’s work visit www,genekiegel.com. Of course you can immerse yourself in ‘Welcome to My Fucking Artworld’ at www.instagram.com/genekiegel at and keep an eye out for the book “Welcome to My Fucking Art World – Volume I”, slated to be available this Fall!

And, particularly today, let's heed Gene's advice and notshootkatemoss.

Yet we wish to encourage people to carry the theory of Non Photography Day forward and shoot in a way that proposes a fresh way of thinking while surrendering to the methodologies of this project … being one of collaboration, artistic expression for no sake other than dialogue, patience, free-form creativity and shining a light on the craziness of the use of images.

So, again … Observe. Slow Down. Shoot (just not today). Submit.
www.ishotkatemoss.com

P.S. In case you are uncertain:
 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Have you seen these ads in NYC?

A phonebox near the church of kate (it was near some clothing stores apparently) ...
... and do the bus stop
And just like the traffic and pedestrian passers by who were making their way to the 5th Ave shops ...

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit
P.S. Many thanks to Nick Rosal for "spotting" these

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Photographer Series #18: kitshotkatemoss


Kit Clark is certainly an outlier when it comes to the east and west coast centered art worlds and even the artists we have highlighted here at ishotkatemoss. 

Self described as an "old black dog", Kit was born in Appalachia in 1980. He indicated that his bio simply could state that he “should be dead”.

My early life and formative years were full of violence, drug abuse, legal problems, homelessness, mild mental arrested development, and a lot of time wandering around in the woods.” Kit attended a state university in NY for two years in his mid twenties where he studied liberal arts before being kicked out due to a lack of attendance. “I had a raging heroin habit and family issues.

Kit has been making art since he was a child and simply desired to create “something sacred out of trash”. He draws, dabs and strokes at found source images, turning the normal or mundane into a surreal, special and enchanted presence.

iskm: How would you describe your work? 
Kit Clark (KC): My work is a bit like future primitive graffiti tattoo magick. My creations are illuminated illustrations on templates. Maybe most concisely described as ‘folk art’. My steady medium for the last handful of years has been collage. More recently I have also been using ‘sigils’, a magical glyph that represents intent. I have always worked with themes of nature, esoteric, occult, life cycles. 

iskm: Why do you choose to draw on the images the way that you do?  
KC: Most of the symbols I'm creating are automatic writing, doing my best to fit the subject. The symbols that appear are just what come out of me. I've seen many different glyphs; they've existed since humans created the first image.
Kit Clark's portrait of John Burroughs: "Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all - that has been my religion"
I use paint pens and ink to illustrate an already existing photo. It's a process constantly in transition. I've seen a lot of this type of work … people drawing on photos is illumination like the monks drawing on manuscripts, which is i think fitting because these folks I see doing this all seem to have a spiritual perspective.
 
iskm: How do you select the source images?
KC: I work from found materials. I have a pretty daily routine where I get to my local library, where there is a magazine exchange, I look for fashion magazines, as often they have higher quality full page black/darker pages for their ads, most expensive magazines do. I use the black to tear up and re-affix as backgrounds on my collages, and sometimes I will find images that I draw on. I do my best not to buy my source material but to work from what has been discarded. Sort of a thing from my mountain culture is to use what you have.
 
iskm: Why kate? Why did you choose the specific image of her that you did?
KC: I chose kate moss, because it chose me. I tend not to work with fashion themes; though, I am very interested in form and function, and with the idea of a person a huge portion of the world thinks fits some ideal of beauty. In a way she's a modern Goddess … I illuminated her.
iskm: Do the specific symbols have certain meaning? Are they Appalachian symbols? 
KC: These are not Appalachian symbols in particular. I feel that I am drawing mostly from runic forms. Lines and dots. Sometimes I think they look futuristic, yet sometimes I think they look ancient.
The symbol on the forehead of kate moss is called the leviathan cross. It is the alchemical symbol for sulfur/brimstone. I don’t use such a symbol on all of my works, I tend to use lunar symbols more. This crux though has been sort of appropriated by Anton LaVey, from the Church of Satan; some of his followers, and some of the folks who are around occult use it as the satanic cross. In that way I'm inferring that there is something nefarious to the point of kate moss. Not her as a soul, but her purpose to us as a culture, this ideal Caucasian woman. It's a theme that's said a lot of ways, however if I say too much more I feel like there's little room for viewer interpretation. If someone isn’t aware that it’s alchemical, or that its adopted by some Satanists, or that it has a little infinity loop in it, maybe it will be seen as just pretty. 

iskm: What does being Appalachian mean to your work?
KC: I am constantly more concerned with nature than with cities. Financial issues abound in Appalachia. Up and down the mountains people are poor with money but rich with spirit. There's a lot of folklore, music, crafts, storytelling plus community and family. In the mountains the veil between the mystical world and this reality gets thinner. Some people call it superstitious, but we call it aware. Not everyone is though. A love of the woods seems to be very big part of my attachment to this. Nature is the greatest artist. My family came here in 1645 from Scotland. I'm 13th generation. My family mixed in with Algonquin later on.

iskm: Why do you have a black dog as your totem? 
KC: My spirit animal is the black dog. In European legend he's a harbinger of dark times. In Native American medicine the black dog is a guide to the lost, through darkness, and onto more lit paths. One doesn't pick their totem, it's revealed to them through vision quests, dreams, and words from other people in the medicine. Why I have it as my totem I cannot rightly tell you because I didn't choose it. Why I have a totem though is because I come from that bloodline, and I'd like to go back to that. I'm looking forward to a future primitive world.

iskm: Which photographers/artists would you most want to most see involved in ishotkatemoss?
KC: Keith Haring and Michelangelo. I think Haring because of his illustration style, I'm sure he'd do what I'm attempting to do, but much better. And I'd like to see what Michelangelo would make of kate because he always hides something magical in his work, a reference to something. I'm curious what features he'd accent more, whereas I feel like I chose the cheek, I think he would say that the soul is in the eyes.

Thanks so much Kit. I highly encourage people to look at more of Kit’s work, which can be seen at: www.instagram.com/kit_clark_. Truly beautiful, powerful, poignant and illuminating.

Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.