Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interview with Pistol & Fur

Chicago, IL

Recently I was interviewed by Jason Hynes the editor of the excellent UK photo collective Pistol & Fur as part of the promotion for the new limited edition book that the website have published. A collection of 49 photographs by 49 photographers, including myself. This is that interview illustrated with a selection of images which until now have not (I believe) appeared on this blog before.


Where are you from and where are you going?

I was born in Middlesbrough in the industrial north of England, but grew up on the south coast. First in Dorset and later Brighton in East Sussex. After a lot of traveling, I now live in Overland Park, Kansas, but plan to move to Chicago this Autumn. In terms of my photographic life, I come from Black and White, Film, Medium Format and a disciplined darkroom practice. Now I work in digital with a small Leica and make pictures in colour. I love colour. For the last three and a half years I’ve been photographing America obsessively, but I feel, as I’ve become more settled in the U.S. my work is slowly becoming much more personal in nature.

Lawrence, KS

What is your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from so many diverse corners that it’s almost overwhelming to think about. I’m especially inspired by artists driven by a strong personal vision who are willing and unafraid to follow their creativity where ever it takes them - beyond their own discipline. I admire explorers and experimenters, or more to the point ‘psychonaughts’. David Lynch, Julian Cope, Jean Cocteau and William Burroughs are a few I could immediately name here. I’m inspired by those with a restless energy, the ‘mad ones’ as Kerouac once said – artists with drive and passion. I’m inspired by the journey. Those artists whose lives, whatever they do, are tangled up in the art they make and live it. These, for me are the true artists and my greatest inspiration.

Chicago, IL

What got you into photography?

Writing was my first love, but photography was always there. I studied photography with a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and I also gained a BA Honors degree in Editorial Photography at Brighton University, passing with a 1st. For me poetry and photography are quite similar in nature. They are both initially about an idea and they are both closely linked to my emotional and psychic life. I used to carry a notebook and pencil around with me everywhere and I scribbled down notes, observations and poems whenever a situation moved me. Now I carry a camera instead. Photography is a much more direct tool, for me, but the thinking behind both is very much the same. The transition from writing to photography was a natural and easy one for me to make.

Pennsylvania Avenue

Baseball Game

Father & Son

Digital? film? no preference?

I love the almost sketchbook feeling of making pictures that digital can offer, but I do sometimes miss being in the darkroom, which could be at times a mystical experience. I sometimes find using a computer to process images a drag and the ethereal nature of pixels makes me nervous.

What do you hear at this moment?

Humming air conditioners, screaming Cicadas and the distant din of traffic.

Tucumcari, NM

If you could work on a project with any photographer living or dead who would it be and why?

I would have loved to have come to America during the 50’s or 60’s. I find that period in U.S. history and culture fascinating and many of my most beloved and respected cultural heroes, artists and writers come from this era too. Without doubt I would have loved to have shared the driving with Robert Frank while he worked on his Americans series. That book came as a revelation to me and his vision inspires me to this day. To experience and explore pre-interstate America is something I find hard to imagine, especially knowing now the sheer size and scale of this country, having made several long road trips myself. It would have been incredible..

Santa Rosa, NM


Monument Valley, UT (VII)

Any news you want to share?

There are a number of on-going projects I am continually working on and I am always having ideas for new works. For several months now I have been back at school studying to be an EMT (emergency medical technician) so photography has sadly taken a bit of a back seat, but now that this course is finished I have just began work on producing a couple of books. One of these will be my Remains to be Seen project, a series of photographs which explores loss, grief, time and memory and what we do with the void left within us after the death of a loved one and how it affects the way we see the world. It is a deeply personal project for me and was a difficult one to make. It will, when completed, contain all 50 photographs from this series plus a handful of personal family snapshots. It will also include some writing from that time also, which I recently re-discovered on some floppy disks and in some old notebooks. These writings I intend to publish in their raw, floored and un-edited state and I will use them to punctuate the photographic sequence to hopefully inform and enrich the images and the book as a whole.

Also couple of months ago I was also lucky enough to get a book deal and I am presently working with a few trusted photographer friends to edit and sequence it. It’s hard work. I do not want to say too much about this right now, but I am very excited about it and I am hoping it is going to be something really special. It will be an edit of my American photographs and titled ‘Resident Alien’. When this project really starts to take some shape I’d love to come back and talk about this with you in more detail.

Shawnee, KS

Troost, KC

Pistol & Fur's excellent website and the originally published interview, set with an alternative selection of images, can be found here. Many thanks to Jason Hynes:

Follow these links below to read more interviews:

Interview with Amerikana Magazine with Sam Dickey

Interview with Head On photo-festival with Lyndal Irons

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, KS/MO

Southwest Blvd, KC

Southwest Blvd, KC

Southwest Blvd, KC

Southwest Blvd, KC

Thift Store, MO

Southwest Blvd, KC

Southwest Blvd, KC

Southwest Blvd, KC

Here is a selection of some of the horizontal photographs I have made along Southwest Blvd in Kansas City (I will post the vertical images another time). Southwest Blvd is a location I have kept returning to, over and over again and I am attracted somehow by it's open urban spaces, concrete, cars, chain-link fences, railroad tracks and scattered business's, making it extremely photogenic and iconic of the America within me, evoking childhood memories of a place never visited. Whilst walking around Southwest Blvd I am often filled with an eerie sense of de'ja' vu, an experience which is both strange, familiar and compelling.

On the north end Southwest Boulevard starts as 19th Street at Baltimore Avenue in Kansas City, MO, and travels southwest crossing the state line into Kansas City, KS at 31st Street and continues until crossing 39th Avenue at which point it continues as Merriam Lane. Southwest Boulevard passes through the Crossroads Arts District and the West Side Neighborhood in Missouri and also the Rosedale Neighborhood in Kansas.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pistol & Fur Book

New years Eve by Simon Kossoff

The excellent UK based photo-collective Pistol & Fur have published a book where I have one of my photographs included in it. I have been a huge fan of P&F for a long time now and love their vision and it comes as a great honor for me to have been chosen to be part of this new project. Many thanks to Jason Hynes, it's editor and creator on what looks to be a beautiful book.Thank you.
Hers's the Blurb about the book from Pistol & Fur's website:
51 page hand-made, limited edition of 100 books, size A6 book, includes 49 colour images from 49 photographers from the Pistol & Fur Collective. Each book is hand-made to order.

Book pages are printed on professional 170gsm matt ink jet photographic paper,
Book cover is made from 100% recycled card.

Photographers included in the book are:

Anabel Navarro,Goran Jovanovic,Louis Little,Pierre Wayser,Jelena Martinovic,Shelbie Dimond,Alexander Alekseenko,Sergiy Barchuk,Stephanie Gonot,Michael J Demeo,Johann Watzke,Bez Uma,Ana Himes,Erin Meehan,Carly Scott,Erika Braukis,Riccardo Nava,Samantha Casolari,Vins Baratta,Nina Zivkovic,Sara Visconti,Johnny De Guzman,Danny Hopkins,Derek Vincent,Alex Bloundele, Hanna Kallebo Neikter,Terry Westwood,Gabriel Chemery,Pipiabat,Kirill Kuletski,Maria Kopytova,Alex Catt,Nickolay Dyadechko,Daniel Ribar,Adele M Reed,Michael ten Pas,Ana Pereira,Steven Philip Brown,Claudia Moroni,Danielle Velterelle,Elina Nilsson,Herve Demers,Ramell Ross,Vivian Weidmann,Simon Kossoff,Victoria A. Lisbet,Benedetta Falugi,Maggie Shannon,Zhengdong Xu.
To order a copy of this book or explore P&F's website, follow this link:http://cargocollective.com/pistolfur/#785355/pistol-fur
Please see this link to view Jason's personal website:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

AUBADE Magazine Issue 5

Aubade Magazine - Issue 5 July 2011

Aubade magazine issues 5 has been published and from the looks of the preview, it promises to be another excellent journal for contemporary photography, painting and creative writing. For Chris Turner, its creator, editor and designer Aubade is a labor of love and with each new issue his editorial eye is becoming more refined in it's vision.

My gratitude and thanks go to Chris for his faith and continued interest in my own work and I am proud to have had images published in all five issues to date. The latest issue includes a photograph from Middlesbrough Kentucky, an image I made on my most recent road trip from New York City to Kansas, which, I was delighted to discover, chosen for this months cover. Thank you Chris and keep up the good work - Aubabe magazine is a very special thing.

Aubade issue 5 and it's back issues can be ordered and previewed at Magcloud's website here:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls
Gift Shop

Niagara Falls
Tourist views the Falls via iPad

Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls

These photographs are from my recent trip to Niagara Falls. For me, Niagara is one of those almost mythical places that I had always, especially as a child, dreamed of visiting. I have discovered though, the reality of these dream locations is an altogether different experience. Like all the great mysterious, beautiful, powerful and legendary landscapes, such a the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the Pyramids at Giza, it came as no surprise to me that Niagara Falls, like all the others, was heaving with tourists attempting to fulfill the same romantic dream as my own.

Regardless of the crowds, which could not be in any way avoided and which became part of my photographic vision of the place, Niagara Falls left me spellbound and ultimately wordless with it's awesome beauty.

Niagara Falls