As you thumb through these glossies, you will sense an obsession with
things American. Instead of glace, we have an orange Popsicle. I am especially fond of American Deco, 50â€™s cars, diners, cowboys etc. You get the point. This collection represents my most interesting color on one hand, and some humor and satire on the other. Sometimes the endless work on each shot is easier to deal with when there is a smile at the end of the day. Do you think when they made that 59 caddy they took it too seriously? American style is unique and in many ways very courageous. We donâ€™t use 10,000 slaves to build a pyramid, but when we slap a bunch of neon on a cinder block building, people come from all over the world to see it. We seem to have a more efficient grasp of visual power and an ability to laugh at ourselves in the process.
Nude Descending A Staircase or a nasty Greassed Nude? We do our own thing. I look for things that are bizarre, I guess, but then again, things that are rather obvious. Mobile 1 motor oil inspired this. German pubs were very interested in my Watermelon Head with itâ€™s military symbolism. I, of course, never thought of that. .
I spent a year obsessed with lips. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to be able to get on to your next obsession. For me if I am interested, I am obsessed. Guy Bourdin introduced the â€œconceptâ€? to commercial photography. When I was not shooting an ad or commercial, I was making art. In most cases there was a fine line...
I love this shot of Arturo, even though it is directly influenced by Warhole, of course. It is my shot and my interpretation, and somehow I donâ€™t have a problem with. We cannot not be influenced by the classics. Even Penn borrowed the bugs on the still-life from Vermeer. We just have to consider the consequences. Most of these photographs were done practically, or what you see was in front of the camera. We even painted the mural of the lips on the building, I had a pitcher throw the orange at a glass wall and the Harley tattoo was, of course, real.
When you play with color, especially primary color, you lay it all out. If it is not right you look really stupid. When you incorporate concept it is a little more forgiving. As you look at the work you will see many inflences. I worked with Irving Penn, so that is obvious in some, but I love the conceptual work of Guy Bordin, the boldness and simplicity of Warhole, the sensitivity of space from Hooper the iconology of varrious photographers like Marylin with her skirt blowing etc. At some point I even influenced myself, and how you do that is a total mystery?
At one point, after the army, I was pertrifed of color. Blending in was staying alive.. It took a long time to actually begin to embrace color.
Las Vegas is a trip in itself, and almost demands that you reach another level of aesthetic consciousness. The only thing you could do to offend this town is to do something boring, or For God’s Sake “understated”. This shoot was a bit of a logistical nightmare, but it was a total blast! When in Rome?
Neon gives us a whole new level of mood. The diners and old theaters were designed to be inviting with lighting that bathes the you with warmth and great expectations. They are so much fun to photograph if you know what you are doing since there are just a few moments when there is that perfect balance of natural and artificial light.
I love Harley’s! I have so many stories which I won’t get in to, but the physical presence, the noise, the tattoos and the iconology are phenomenal. In a time when every silver sedan looks the same, clothes styles are cliche’ and the status-quo seems the goal. Throw a North Face something on and carry a Starbucks cup and you are in the groove. Or...drive a hog and park loud! I have been riding since I was a kid, and I tell people motorcycles are pretty safe since I have only nearly killed myself 5 or 6 times. If you ride be really careful. There are lots of cool Harley shots, but I hope these get to the essence of what is really a way of life.
The American Indian dress will always be our true regalia but the cowboy has cornered the â€œfashionâ€?. There is no mistake about this look and what it represents. They ride, they fight, they drink and they even sing. They are my heroes.
There is nothing cooler than an old powerhouse for a fashion shoot... or a sculptorâ€™s studio or an old manniquin factory. For me if the space insnâ€™t incedible, the background is white or canvas.
The industrial revolution has provided us with fascinating objects, and even objects to make other objects with. The prosthetic purpose of these hands is sobering, but the mechanics and engineering are visually captivating. Sometimes I forget about the first at the time of the photography, but it enevitablily become haunting. I truly believe that objects have charisma or a mystique.