What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’ve been working on a split zine with my good friend Alex Howard from the UK. It’s mostly photos of this past summer, no real “theme” per se, but I think we both take a similar approach to photography so it works out well! It’s looking pretty awesome, I’m stoked on it. Tentative release date is Halloween.
What do you do when you’re not working on art? I play in a few different bands. I’ve been playing drums for over 11 years now. This has always been slightly more important to me, though photography consumes a pretty large part of my life right now. Actually, my girlfriend is probably my main interest, haha. She’s definitely changed my life for the better. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. She’s kind of incredible; she makes really awesome paintings and food and clothes and she’s 100 x more creative than I’ll ever be. I got her a camera for her 20th birthday and she’s been doing some cool stuff with it, you should check out her flickr!
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after seeing your work? I think it’s important for people to recognize the “magic” in what is seemingly nothing. Little phenomena make the world go round. There is something to be said about sweating the small stuff as opposed to avoiding it. I don’t know if this message is necessarily positive, in fact I think it’s pretty neutral – I am sort of against art trying to make big statements. Big things just aren’t very personal.
What artists are you interested in right now? I think Paul Graham is one of the best contemporary photographers. His work can only be fully appreciated in book format. He’s super interested in how sequence affects his “message” and the general vibe of his work; he uses lots of repetition, slight variations of the “same” image, etc. In my opinion, his work has a lot to do with the human condition, the idea of “first world” problems, the importance of the mundane, the importance of suffering, etc.
If you hadn’t become an artist, what do you think you’d be doing? When I was a kid I used to tell my mother that I wanted to be a garbage man so I could ride on the back of the truck. It looked super fun. Then one day we were walking to the bus stop in the pouring rain and I saw some garbage dudes soaking wet picking up huge dirty trash bags and I changed my mind. But yeah, I’m not sure what I would be doing if I didn’t become an artist. Psychology has always been an interest of mine. I actually really enjoy helping people with their problems, especially things that are pretty subjective, like emotional troubles. Deep discussions are pretty vital, everybody gains something. I’m kind of a spacey guy so it’s cool to hear what other people are focused on when they’re lost in space.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? The value of “snapshot” photography in the art world, the value of real tangible prints vs. jpegs on a screen, the value of film vs. digital, etc… I think we’re in a weird grey period where both “anything goes” and “nothing goes.” It’s strange because the internet sort of puts everyone on the same playing field, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. As far as hanging work in galleries… I’m not sure how many art collectors are looking to buy point-and-shoot photos of fucked up stuff on the side of the road, funny looking shrubs, fashionable twenty-year-olds against a white wall with on-camera flash, etc. In any case, I’m not really concerned about money right now – I have a lot of student loan cash to live off of, haha. But the future does scare the shit out me, we’ll see what happens, whatever.
What are your plans for the next year? I want to make a body of work that is slightly more focused than anything I’ve made so far. I want to re-do my entire website with brand new work (I’m really sick of the one I have now.) I want to write more, and make things other than photographs. I want a really awesome winter coat.