My feature is up on Art Magazine! It’s in German though, so I’ll paste the answers to their questions below!
What excites you about the subject of the nude?
As a prepubescent kid I was fascinated by the nude form, both male and female. My mother ran a fashion store in the city and on weekends I’d spend it at the shop, in the stock room flicking through women’s magazines and gawking at nude/semi-nude figures. Throughout high school I was infatuated with girls, nude magazines and art. Post high school (late 90s to mid 2000’s) I spent many years using the female form in my digital art but my first nude photoshoot was in my professional graphic design years. It was with my girlfriend at the time and it took place after drinking a lot of red wine. It felt really cheeky, very much spontaneous and in-the-moment. The results were amazingly tasteful and artistic, as a couple we were so proud of the images that we published them online. Over the years I’ve had various partners, most of which were willing to be my nude muses and whilst I don’t specifically try to gun after a nude shoots these days, when the opportunity does pop up I’m all over it (for arts sake!).
How far would you go? Are there any taboos?
I’d love to be able to honestly say that I don’t care about what others think, but unfortunately, at times, I do care. I like to think I have a pretty good reputation out there as a professional creative, and founder of various communities. There are things that I love on a very personal level (drugs, sexual fetishes, you get the drift…), and I feel that if revealed, some of these things would split opinions in regards to my image so in the end I do make compromises, and have yet to really go completely “uncensored” and doubt I ever could.
When is a nude picture considered a piece of art?
I’ve had very heated debates about this with creative professionals. A while back I got to meet Natacha Merritt, who takes very intense self portraits, many which are very graphically sexual. She spoke at AGIDEAS conference in Melbourne and her whole talk revolved around what is art and what is porn, yet it left most of the audience confused. Her work is art. I have no doubt about it, but the fact that a lot of people consider her work as porn just solidifies for me that not everyone out there “gets it”. I don’t have a black and white answer between the difference between art and porn (I tend to love living in the grey) but I believe ultimately that what is art and what is not is down to personal interpretation.
Who or what inspires you? Are there any photographers or artists that inspires your work?
I’ve always taken inspiration from myself, my past, my upbringing, my culture and my family. I identified very early on that it was pointless to be inspired by other creatives. When you do that you’re just copying and not understanding the real reasons as to why their work looks amazing, thus adding to the creative confusion out there. If you instead take inspiration from yourself you’re more likely to create something original as there is no other you in this world. Having said all that I am in absolutely awe of many creatives out there; photographers, artists, designers, typographers, etc. both locally and internationally.
Were there any mortifying moment while you were photographing?
Not to date! I’ve been on shoots where the main photographers have had technical issues with gear which ended shoots prematurely. I shoot in natural light so I only need myself, the model and my camera. I have no remote flash units or lights to worry about and I always carry 2 cameras to a shoot in case one fails.
How important is staging and coincidence for your pictures?
My favourite style of photography is what I like to call “in-the-moment’ style photography. “Off-the-cuff” and spontaneous. That kind of photography with a model doesn’t come by chance too easily though so lately I’ve been working on ideas with girls before getting together for shoots. My shoots are falling into different categories these days. I run a fashion label (Zen Garage) so there are straight out sexy look book style fashion shoots, then there are the shoots which have a concept where the photos need to be viewed in a chronological order as they tell a story, then there are my art shoots which may take inspiration from one single source, be it another artists work (take for example the shoot I did with Krystal which was inspired by an Araki photograph) or the model herself (her ideas for the shoot).
What projects or dreams would you like to fulfill in your artistic practice?
I’d love to collaborate with other artists I look up to, and also brands I look up to but so long as I’m able to create what I like to create then I’m happy. I spent many years as a graphic designer creating work for others. CD-ROM presentations, web sites, print design, branding design etc. Some of it was satisfying, but most of it wasn’t. These days I’m very selective about what commercial work I take on, and with photography I’m hoping to keep it as a passion project for the love and not for the money.