At first, when I began this series it was an investigation into how my mother raised me and my identity within femininity and how she contributed to that identitiy. As I kept working with her, the series began focusing on our relationship and the history we have within our family between her and I, and her and her mother as well. She is generally apprehensive when I make portraits of her, but the more time I spend with this work the more collaborative it has become.
It really depends. Some shoots are commissioned, some are assignments, some are fine art ideas, some are a combination of all of these routes to a completed image. Permission is needed for many of my shoots that aren't in public areas and that can require a bit of groundwork beforehand. Those images tend to be conceived ahead of time with a clear approach to making them. Other times, I find myself like a street photographer on the prowl for something interesting.
The portraits of the “Silence Breakers” in TIME were done by photography duo Billy & Hells, who were commissioned by the magazine for the resonant power of their portraiture. While the portraits themselves, which feature the subjects in sharp contrast against soft pastel backgrounds staring into or away from the camera, are pretty standard as far as the portraits that TIME has featured in past “Person of the Year” issues.
While not physically present in the room, Freud’s thoughts and theories remained a guiding voice through-out the panel discussion. Freud famously postulated: we cannot imagine our own death. Stern’s work would suggest otherwise, as the panelist conjecture, the capturing of skulls act as an artistic reflection of Stern’s own grappling with the subject of death and her own mortality. The photographer confesses her own shortcomings as she was not cognizant of any deep psychological seedlings that might have dictated her photographs.
I realize I am interested in an ability to see these inaccessible objects. It goes back to death. I have this fantasy that when I die, and my soul is floating out there, I’ll get to see the Earth. I’ll get to see the Moon, the stars. Then, I said why the fuck wait? I’ll do it myself. I want to make the stuff I can’t see.
For the past several years, I have been thinking about how, as artists, we are blind. We can’t see how other people see our work.
I travel because I often feel called to go somewhere. There’s this overwhelming urgency that comes over me to see a place, and until I can travel there I’m completely obsessed with it. I need to go experience it to get it out of my system (although, even after the experience the obsession will linger, so I make plans to return). I started See America First! about 5 years ago because I felt called to retrace the road trips from my childhood.
I was saved by photography. I was a young, intelligent, desperate woman. My encounter with photography allowed me to express my thoughts, my rebellion, my social and political commitment. People both young and old who visit the center will experience beauty, based, very simply, on commitment and knowledge. I already know that the people of Palermo are anxiously waiting for the International Center of Photography to get started.
If you're in a situation - for example, the work I'm doing now. I'm working in abandoned buildings throughout the West where people write stuff on the walls, and a bunch of those places were like Nazi hangouts, like neo nazi hangouts. And in those buildings I go and I don't even bother taking my bigger camera. I go with my iPhone because I can get in and out really quickly. And if I'm uncomfortable I can move quickly and if I'm not I can then go get my big camera, go back, and take my time.
One of our interns Anthony Huang sat down with photographer Michael Marcelle, to talk about his inspirations from 1960s-80s International Horror Films as well as Kenneth Anger's experimental works. If you are a fan of Stranger things, you should check out his recommendations!
John Chiara: There came a point where he just said, “Okay, you know what to do, you just have to go out and do it. When you get the cojones, come meet with me again, and show me new work. Call me up and we’ll meet until one of us falls over and doesn’t get back up.”
I am always interested to see how things have changed and I have also always been in love of Classic Art so the idea came very easily to my mind.
I agree with you. I am also very concerned about that on many levels. First, I'm a photographer. I spent a whole lifetime on photographs that have emotion. A good photograph is one that works well across the frame with a strong emotional content. I don’t want see a kid dying in the frame; I’ve seen that so many times it has become a cliché. But I do want to see something that moves me.