About this podcast
A conversation series on photography where host Jordan Weitzman sits down with emerging and established photographers, publishers and editors to discuss their work.
About this podcast
A conversation series on photography where host Jordan Weitzman sits down with emerging and established photographers, publishers and editors to discuss their work.
It was a little strange getting together with Shala Miller in the same space we’d met in less than a year ago. It was Farah Al Qasimi’s opening at Helena Anrather’s gallery, and the room was packed. This time, we were in the same space, but it was filled with Shala’s things instead - stuff for her to work on and during residency she was doing at the gallery. The room had different workstations that were set up, which made sense to me given Shala’s practice. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working with photography, film and music, which she makes under the name Freddie June. As I’ve gotten more and more into her work, I’ve discovered that It’s the tapestry of it all that makes it so compelling and rich. Shala is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, studied at SAIC in Chicago and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris before pursuing her MFA at Bard. She currently lives and works in New York. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
While preparing to interview Moyra Davey, I started to really try and figure out what it is that I love so much about her work. Is it that she is able to deal with the most mundane, everyday subject matter in such a personal, unpretentious, electrifying, simple and complex way? Is it her subject matter that’s so appealing? Artists that she’s interested in, diaries, ephemera, hang-ups, let downs, preocupations, inspirations, quotes, books? Is it that she speaks of those things in the first place? Is it her form? The simple elegance of it which is a through line in all her work from the writing to the films to the mailers. “I’m trying to write in the forms of the work I want to read” she writes in her title essay of her recent book Index Cards published by New Directions. That seems like such a simple and easy thing to do, but it’s really the most challenging place to get to. Moyra was born in Toronto in 1958, grew up in Montreal and lives in New York now, where she’s been for some 30 years. She is the recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship and just last month, she opened a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
I have an interesting relationship to Mike Marcelle’s work. On the one hand, I totally get it, but on the other, i so don’t relate to where it comes from. I get the seeing, I feel the strength of the pictures, but his reference points feel so different than mine in a way. Like, for example, the new Suspiria would probably NOT come up in every conversation of mine, and with him, welll….. Process though - that’s another story. Hearing Mike speak about his way of making pictures, often involving ideas as starting points for photos i totally get. In his case, he jots them down in a several year long email to himself that he replies to over and over. Those ideas, though, are just to get off the couch, to try something out, to roam around and find things. The photos that he makes are always completely different and unexpected. Mike grew up in New Jersey where he recently made photos of his family which ended up in his book Kokomo, published with Matte in 2018. In Gregory Crewdson’s essay in the book, he says that Marcelle's photographs employ various conventions of the beloved horror and B-movies of his youth - self-consciously low-end special effects and garish, technicolor lighting - the materials of the domestic and familial are reconfigured into an uncanny, alien world. We conducted this interview remotely, i in Montreal, and Mike at his home in upstate New York that he shares with his husband Danny. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On an unusually mild winter evening this past February, I got together with Mary Manning at her apartment in NYC. She is the author of Blueprint and First Impressions of Greece, and has contributed to numerous publications, most recently, a wonderful image text exchange with the author Olivia Laing in the Spirituality issue of Aperture. In 2006, she started the blog Unchanging Window, which became an important creative outlet for her and a way of finding community. She has shown with Canada (gallery) in NYC, has shot for Ekhaus Latta, and recently contributed photos to the Dimes Cookbook. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Just before the world went into Covid-19 lockdown, I got together with Drew Sawyer at his apartment in the Bedstuy. He’s the photo Curator at the Brooklyn Museum, and among the numerous exhibitions he’s worked on in his current and previous posts at MoMa and the Columbus Museum of Art, he recently gave the Russian Ghanian photographer Liz Johnson Artur her first solo museum exhibition, resurrected the color work of Gary Winogrand and put together an incredible survey of queer work in the past 50 years in Art After Stonewall. Drew earned his Ph.D in art history and archeology at Columbia University, where his dissertation was a critical re-examination of Walker Evans. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
On the chair next to me sat a worn out copy of Toni Morrisson’s Beloved, a favorite which Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. told me he’s read at least three times. We were sitting at the kitchen table in the apartment which he’s been living at in Flushing, Queens, on the upstairs floor of a yellow and burgundy house museum dedicated to the work of Louis Ladimer. Ladimer was the inventor of the carbon-filament light bulb, an addendum and improvement to Thomas Edison’s original lightbulb. So the photographer is living in the house of someone who helped a great deal with the way we see, and in Elliott’s case, it seemed particularly apt. At his recent solo show in New York at Nicelle Beauchane, his photographs radiated with grace and elegance, a heightened sensitivity to form, rendering unexpected, complicated and beautiful images out of his everyday life. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Vince Aletti has been writing and reporting on culture for over 50 years. He was the first person to write about disco for Rolling Stone in the early 70’s, he worked as a senior-editor for the Village Voice for over twenty years and was the photo critic for the New Yorker until 2016. In this episode, Jordan Weitzman sits down with Aletti at his storied, book and art filled east village apartment to talk about it all. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Just last weekend, a piece of Carmen’s - a portrait in multiple images of Toni Morrisson was featured on the last cover of the New York Times Magazine of the decade. The culmination of an eventful past couple of years for Carmen, she released two new books - Notes on Fundamental Joy with Printed Matter and My Birth with SPBH Editions. That book accompanied her show of the same name in MoMa’s New Photography in 2018. In that powerful installation, she used two facing walls to tape up over 2000 found photographs of women giving birth. Winant was born in San Fransisco, studied at UCLA and the California College of the Arts and now lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, artist Luke Stettner and their two sons, Carlo and Rafa. She is the Roy Lichtenstein chair of studio art at Ohio State University where she teaches as well.
Patrice Aphrodite Helmar
Recorded in: Ridgewood, Queens Episode Length: 37:30 Air Date: October 16, 2019 Produced by: Jordan Weitzman Edited by: Cristal Duhaime I remember the first time I met Patrice Aphrodite Helmar. It was around this time in 2017, and a friend asked if I wanted to go and check out the Backyard Biennial that she was putting on at her place in Ridgewood. A self-initiated curatorial effort, she showcased the work of emerging and established photographers alike. There was food and drinks, a slideshow going, and prints untraditionally arranged within the orange walls of her backyard. As we walked in to her ground floor apartment, she greeted and hugged us as if we were old friends. I remember we talked about Friedlander’s Nudes and EJ Belloq’s Storyville portraits at some point that night, but what stuck with me most was a kind of energy that she filled the room with. Patrice makes heartbreaking photos - lots of pictures of people, often in intimate settings. She’s made lots of her work in bars, where she’s also worked quite a bit, and she’s spent a lot of time shooting in New Orleans. She’s exhibited work across the country, but, she also gives so much back and makes such an important contribution to the photo community in New York. Aside from the Backyard Biennial, she teaches at Pratt and Fordham, and she's the founder Marble Hill Camera Club. - This episode was brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The world's first photobook of the month club
Matt Grubb is sitting in his car in the parking lot outside his favourite movie theatre in Queens, sipping a Diet Coke. As we're coordinating a time to meet for this interview, he tells me that he’s about to go see the new Avengers movie for the third time. It had just come out two weeks ago….I’m amazed and laughing to myself just thinking how much i love that compulsion. I think that same kind of curiosity and passion goes into his work and is one of the reason’s he’s such a brilliant image maker. His pictures, often varied genre’s, are unified somehow in this mysterious, very original combination of eloquence and strangeness. Matt grew up in San Francisco, earned his MFA at Yale and has done editorial work for the New York Times, Vice and most recently, Gayletter. This past summer, he published his first, now sold out book, Brian Singer 2001, which was launched at 56 Henry in New York alongside a selection of new photographs made this year. - This episode is brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The world's first photobook of the month club
Recorded in: London, UK Episode Length: 43:09 Air Date: August 27, 2019 Produced by: Jordan Weitzman Edited by: Cristal Duhaime In 2010, with a feeling that the traditional publishing industry was not going to last, Bruno Ceschel founded Self Publish Be Happy, an initiative to support and promote the work of emerging photographers. Originally, it functioned as a platform for artists making DIY Books and Zines, but eventually would become more expansive, getting involved in educational activities, the curation of exhibitions and events, and with their own publishing initiative. Through its imprint SPBH editions, Ceschel has published books by Carmen Winant, Lorenzo Vitturi, Nicholas Muelner, Peter Puklus and Chritina de Middel to name a few. In addition to his work with Self Publish Be Happy, Ceschel is also a lecturer and a curator and has organized events at numerous international institutions such as C/O Berlin, The Photographers Gallery in London, MiCamera Mian and Printerd Matter in New York. He also writes regularly for publications such as Aperture, the British Journal of Photography and FOAM. Ceschel began his career in photography working at Colors Magazine as a journalist, then edited by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. - This episode is brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The worlds first phonebook of the month club & www.lightwork.org a non-profit that has been supporting artists working in photography since 1973
Episode 32 | Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Recorded in: Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CaliforniaEpisode Length: 38:46Air Date: July 8, 2019 Produced by: Jordan WeitzmanEdited by: Sarah Anna McMahon-Sperber I went to go visit Paul Mpagi Sepuya on a cool day this past winter at his studio in the Boyle Heights area of LA. In one room, test prints, book mockups His desk and a big printer filled the space. In the other, a Russian plywood bench, a big mirror on the wall, a velvet curtain hanging and a camera on a tripod. He suggested we do the interview in that room, the set where many of his photos have been made, and maybe somehow, maybe the setting would provoke more interesting conversation. The items in that room are the elements in his photographs, and they all have significance in relation to his interests in portraiture, but what I found equally as interesting was the economy he used with those props in order to produce varieties of different, complex images. Nothing about his picture making process is really fancy, but that simplicity allows him to roam around in, and complicate the frame. In the past few years, Sepuya has really been on a roll - he’s had work in Moma’s most recent New Photography exhibition, is currently in the Whitney Biennial. He’s had had numerous solo shows, most recently at Team Gallery in New York and his photo Darkroom Mirrors was featured on the cover of Artforum’s March 2019 issue. - This episode was brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com & www.lightwork.org/shop
Recorded in: Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California Episode Length: 46:23 Air Date: June 14, 2019 Produced by: Jordan Weitzman Edited by: Cristal Duhaime It seems to me like the more dramatic the subject matter a photographer takes on, the more difficult their job becomes. When what is in front of the camera has so much visual appeal already, how do you make pictures that are more interesting than the event? Jeff Burton’s pictures are such a great example of how brilliantly someone has dealt with that problem. His work, much of which was made on gay adult film sets in LA, rarely just documents what is in front of him, but rather uses that material to construct his own personal and mysterious world that's more suggestive than explicit. Burton was born in Anaheim, California and grew up in Texas where he studied at the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He then pursued his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts as a painter before moving back to LA where he got a job at Catalina Films shooting stills on on gay porn sets. We had this conversation in the garden outside his home in Silver Lake in Los Angeles.
Jo Ann Callis
Recorded in: Culver City, California Episode Length: 33:34 Air Date: May 21, 2019 Produced by: Jordan Weitzman Edited by: Cristal Duhaime Jo Ann Callis’ photographs have such an uncanny strangeness to them. They often feel like they could be stills out of a David Lynch film, but she was making them long before Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive came to be. She was born in Cincinnati and pursued her interest in art at Ohio State University, though her eduction was interrupted by marriage, moving our to LA and having kids. These challenges, though, would end up becoming a big part of her subject matter. She’s always been interested in the domestic, the body , femininity and sexuality but her pictures always complicate something that might seem so familiar to us all. She enrolled at UCLA and it was there that she studied under the highly inventive Robert Heinecken in the early 70’s, who made a big impact on her. He turned her onto the the work of Paul Outerbridge and encouraged her to pursue what was going on in her life and inside her head as fodder for work. We conducted this interview at her home in Culver City, Los Angeles where she’s been living for the past 38 years where we talked about her life and work. - This episode is brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The worlds first photobook of the month club
Recorded in: Los Angeles, California Episode Length: Air Date: April 29, 2019 Produced by: Jordan Weitzman Edited by: Cristal Duhaime There is so much soul in Mark McKnight's dark, complex, psychological photographs, whether he's photographing the bodies of men he’s attracted to, still lives or landscapes, all which have a distinct relationship to one another. Just last week, Mark was awarded the very prestigious Aperture Portfolio Prize. I encourage you to go and read Brendan Embser’s write-up on Aperture’s site because he really hits the nail on the head with Marks work and introduces it so beautifully. Embser says: “ Mark McKnight is a modern-day modernist. His black-and-white photographs of skin and sand, brick and tar, with their rich tones and sparkling light, are redolent of twentieth-century masterworks, those pictures by men like Edward Weston who cast the world in silver-gelatin. Weston once said the camera should be used for recording the “quintessence of the thing itself, whether polished steel or palpitating flesh.” But for McKnight, who was born in Los Angeles to a New Mexican, Hispana-identified mother, something was missing from Weston’s vision. Something that would ignite a flame of recognition in a young queer man with ideas about male beauty more expansive than the Eurocentric standard. Something that would make “straight” photography a little less straight.” Mark and I got together at his studio in the Boyle Heights area of LA, where he showed me some recent stunning prints that he’d been labouring over in darkroom. We got to talking about another big part of his life - teaching - which he spoke about with the same enthusiasm and energy that comes through in his work. - This episode is brought to you. by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The world’s first phonebook of the month club & www.lightwork.org a non-profit that has been supporting artists working in photography since 1973
Marcelo Gabriel Yanez
I first heard of Marcelo Yanez through a mutual friend, Bryson Rand, when he took out this tabloid format publication called Newspaper to show me. In Bryson’s usual humility, he didn’t even mention the photo of his that graced the cover, but Instead, wanted to show me other work inside that he was excited about, and especially about who put this all together. At 19 years old, Marcelo Yanez took on a project. He had discovered a publication from the early 70’s called Newspaper that featured the work of photographers in the downtown New York scene. He fell in love wit it, and began to work on a revival of it with contemporary artists. In a looseleaf insert that came with the first issue of his revival, Marcelo wrote about treating Newspaper as an alternative exhibition space, and letting other queer artists know that if they’re in a particular geographical area where queer spaces don’t exist, to get in touch, so we can form a community. I remember reading that and feeling such a generosity and initiative in that offering. It both impressed and charmed me, and I knew this person was doing something special. While he was working on Newspaper, he was studying art history ar NYU, with minors in German and Medieval studies, was working at the Fales library doing archival work, and he was also making his own photographs. Currently, Marcelo is a PhD student in the department of art and art history at Stanford University studying American art. - This Episode is brought to you by: www.charcoalbookclub.com The world's first photobook of the month club