Geschreven door Luuk Imhann
zaterdag, 01 januari 2011 07:00
FunkiMag had een exclusief interview met de Zuid-Afrikaanse fotograaf Ross Garrett en sprak met hem over fotoseries over Anne Frank, de inspiratie door Irving Penn en waarom zoveel van zijn modellen recht in de camera kijken.
Between all the photography on your site, there suddenly is 'Positively 4th Street' by Bob Dylan, preceded by two pictures you have made of actresses. Do you think photography reaches people in a different way than music and film do?
Much of the social face of music and film is photography. They pretty much sit together as one. I love to shoot performers. They bring something to a portrait as if they are somewhere or something else. It's beautiful.
According to your blog, you recently worked on a series based on the album 'In the Aeroplane over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel. It is said that the Diary of Anne Frank was a huge influence on that record. Did that went through your head while shooting?
'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea' was a seminal work. It inspired me for a long time on another level. The reference to Anne Frank and her family is definitely a strong thread that runs through the album and is the main reason that I based a series of shoots on the album. The first, which appeared in Naag, was entitled 'Ghost', a song from the album. It takes the form of a photographic eulogy to the idea of Anne Frank, hinting towards many of Jeff Mangum's sentiments on the album.
You quoted Irving Penn: "A fashion picture is a portrait, just as a portrait is a fashion picture." Could this be seen as a metaphor for your work?
I wouldn't say it's a metaphor in my work, but I am obviously incredibly inspired by Irving Penn. That statement he made rang true to how I feel about photography and the way in which I love to work. So, that idea is a strong link to my work.
The models in your pictures seem very aware of the camera. Most of them even look you straight in the eye. Is this something you think of in advance, or do you direct the women during shooting?
I do direct as I'm going, but I try understand what the shoot is about beforehand, but don't have an exact idea of what I'm going to do. I like it to be somewhat of an organic process. As i said, I love the idea of portraiture in fashion and vice versa. A portrait or fashion shoot by nature has the subject aware of the camera and I like that.
Could you name a few world-class South African photographers? (And would you consider yourself one of them?)
There are a lot of photographers in South Africa that inspire me a lot in different ways. World class, I think there are a few if given all the opportunities are there. Misha Taylor, Laurence Ellis, Natasja Fourie. I wouldn't consider myself world class yet. I have a lot to learn and if you look around at what's out there, you realise the calibre of what guys are doing. Which is incredible. Baby steps!
In the Aeroplane over the Sea
A Bit of Fashion
Lisof + Face =
[Foto's: Ross Garrett]
[Tekst: Luuk Imhann, Ross Garrett]