My friend Gemma has been working on a long term performance art/poetry/music project involving Jean-Michel Basquiat. Her stunning performance a few years ago about him still sends chills down my spine. This summer Gemma came over from the UK for another brief residency and we went to Basquiat’s studio to do a few portraits. It was quite a stunning experience to witness her actually in his space for the first time.
Nora is a dancer I met when I shot a Fringe performance rehearsal at Westbeth one evening. It turned out we had a few mutual friends and we hit it off. I did a series of her doing some dance movements around Greenwich Village, as well as testing out my fisheye lens. I found the fisheye to be a lot of fun with dance and movement. Nora was a joy to work with and incredibly expressive, so I took a chance on a different approach and ended up using her as a model for a fashion shoot with IQ Test later that month.
There had been buzz about a new Amazon complex and development around the Anable Basin, so my friend Daniella suggested we do a shoot around there. The idea of transformation – her own body, the surrounding area – was a fascinating concept to explore. I had discovered a junkyard closeby and thought it would be a fun place to take photos.
The day we shot these a random blizzard came through. Daniella is a performance artist and the weather didn’t faze her one bit. She bore it all. Absolutely one of my favourite portrait sessions. And the development was scrapped soon after.
One of my fellow UCB alums contacted me one day asking if we could collaborate on some photos, he had some ideas. We knew each other from social media, but had never met in person before. He showed up and revealed that in his pocket was a small effigy of an animal and a crystal. I revealed that in my pocket was a small effigy of an animal and a crystal. We’ve been friends and occasional collaborators ever since!
These were shot around Astoria and Central Park.
In 2016 I did a performance art residency near Kingston, NY. A friend of mine from Penn State, Katie Hovencamp, was coincidentally in the area at another residency. So…happily, she came to visit! Katie is a crazy talented performance artist and sculptor (she’s wearing one of her creations in the castle photo, taken outside Arts Letters and Numbers. We did some crazy photos in the woods around Catskill and Hurley. The abandoned diner was a lucky find on the trip, so of course we explored it!