much the process – the mechanical or technical
process of photography – once again it’s about how I use my eye, and how I cajole or direct my subject matter into the pictures I’ve taken.
Throughout my adult career it’s always been about collaboration, which I love to do. Whether it was
collaborating with an art director for a book project or collaborating with Warhol on the Altered Image material, or as I did in my last book, which I did
with Calvin Klein called Exhibitionism. Currently
I have an ongoing collaboration with Paul Solberg [The Hilton Brothers] who does these beautiful
prints, beautiful flowers, beautiful series, and we’ve been doing that for the past ten years. That is part of my brand along with Christopher Makos, Mr.
Solberg has his own brand as well. It’s like a rock group, and the lead singers go out and they have
their own albums at the same time. I guess I always
wanted to be in a rock group: so the Hilton Brothers are perfect for that.
That leads straight into my next topic, which is about
collaboration, especially with Warhol and specifically with Lady Warhol, the collection of images you took for two days in the factory. It’s an homage to Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp’s collaboration: Rrose Sélavy. Through that utilization of homage what are you saying
We The People
about yourself, about Andy Warhol, about Man Ray and about Duchamp? What does Lady Warhol say? It talks about how history is important and you
have to respect it. Also, in a way, Warhol and I were collaborating with Duchamp and Ray because we were using an idea that they had and we updated that idea. For Andy it was a perfect fit because in many ways he was an appropriation artist in the way he took pictures. Everybody always puts it
into context of: you hung out with Warhol, but it’s more like: Warhol hung out with me. People don’t
understand that, I try to express that to journalists. Sure, I hung out with him too but the thing is, it was give-and-take. It was a true friendship. I wasn’t a fan – I’m not Calvin Klein’s fan; we’re friends, he lives three blocks from me.
Collaboration is just like a conversation. Right now we’re collaborating, we’re having a conversation… Sure you have to be strong enough to let go of
things. Some people absolutely cannot collaborate
180 ROOMS No Borders No Boundar ies
because their ego is so overwhelming. If you’re familiar with yourself and you love yourself
enough, once you understand who you are then
you become free to let go and you are able to love
another person, you are able to love your own work and you are able to love somebody else’s work and it doesn’t confront you. There is no reason to be jealous of other people’s work.
When I work with Paul, actually sometimes – I’d do
it with Warhol – we’ll go and take the same pictures together, and then I’d think, “his is much better
than mine” but that’s okay, because I realized that when we do the next round of pictures maybe I’ll
take the better picture. But it doesn’t matter to me who comes up with the better thing. In a kind of a
way I’m very socialist about this: whoever comes up with the better idea, it’s cool, it’s alright. My life is
The Colour of Sound