City: London / Berlin
Why do you do what you do? Because I have to. It’s not a profession or a job. It’s who you am. I’d go insane if I didn’t do what I do.
Could you describe your style and how it developed? I have been taking pictures of pictures since almost the very beginning. Crawling across the floor with a 35mm camera, a torch and an issue of The Face I ‘borrowed’ from my dad’s magazine collection. I didn’t know it at the time but I was lucky to grow up in such a madhouse – an upside down house, a vast overgrown garden, a ramshackle garage, a disused greenhouse. Instinctively I started experimenting with found images; teenage crushes, heroes from old music press and fashion adverts. Whatever I was drawn to. It was very simple at first, but the more I explored this world the further the rabbit hole went.
Now I work with whatever comes to hand – cigarette butts, stale red wine, dead flowers, nail polish, diesel oil and burnt plastic. Images re-photographed, juxtaposed, layered, transformed and re-mixed. I believe in a kind of controlled chaos. There are no rules. Anything is possible.
Where do you get inspiration from? Anything. Everything. Nothing. Godard films, 2000AD comics, Daido Moriyama photographs, staring out of windows, Antonin Artaud’s words, Chagall paintings, Thelonious Monk in performance, train journeys, Stephen Sprouse fashion shows, reading Hunter S. Thompson, and most of all my father.
What is the best part about working within the creative industries? Having an excuse to stay awake all hours and not to get out of bed in the mornings.
What do you wish you knew about your business before you got started? That I actually do have to get up in the mornings.
Has your style developed/changed over the time being active? If yes, how? It’s always changing. If I ever stopped moving then my work would be dead. It’s as simple as that.
Who would you like to work with? My dream project…. Patti Smith. No one has ever inspired me on as many levels as she has, not only through her music but more importantly in who she is and what she stands for. I would like to return the favour one day.
What is your idea of success? Success is being able to carry on working the way that I do for as long as I possibly can… for the rest of my life.
Is there a message that you are trying to portray through your work? Aesthetic experience. Maybe it’s not fashionable for me to say that, but it has always been about creating sensual excitement. A kind of visual shock. It’s a beautiful, expressive, transient experience for me to shoot, and I want that to be felt through my work.
Do you believe it is important to raise artistic awareness in your country? It’s always important to raise artistic awareness all over the world, at every level of society, in all aspects of life.
In your opinion, how important is it to culturally educate through art? Art should at some level be a part of all of our lives.
“The hunger for new art is as strong as ever, the idea that aesthetic experience provides a transcendent understanding is at the very heart of art. It fulfills a deep human need… the desire to experience it, live with it and learn from it remains immortal.” (Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New)