Two years ago, Susannah Darrow, Laura Hennighausen, and I were (most likely) sitting in a bar when we came up with a way to revive Art Crush. Susannah had done a few articles under the name, but the pictures weren’t very exciting and the interviews were a bit haphazard. We started our list of “crushes” that we would feature, who were local artists making art that we happened to really like. (And yeah, we thought they were pretty good looking too).
Our first crush was Fahamu Pecou. We had an idea about the type of questions we wanted to ask: style, inspiration, spirit animal—the latter being a question we ask all of our crushes. The answers are typically pretty amusing. My favorite spirit animal is still Cooper Sanchez’s: “A hawk. Beer. A hawk drinking beer.”
When it came to our first photo session, we kind of just winged it. When we were setting up the interview with Fahamu, we asked if he had any interesting props to bring, and he mentioned a large collection of stuffed animals that belonged to his daughter. He brought them, and we used them in a shot that involved Fahamu in a bathtub. It gets steamy here folks.
My style of photography is primarily photojournalism. I can do portraiture, but it pushes me out of my comfort zone. The Art Crush column gave me an opportunity to expand that part of my portfolio.
An Art Crush article typically has around three to four different photos. One is usually done during the interview, and it’s typically a candid shot lit by window or natural light, such as this one of Anne Dennington.
The others are a bit more stylized and are taken in the artist’s studio/home/environment. My set-up is pretty simple: a Canon 5D MKII with a 24-105mm lens and a Canon 580EXII flash that is used off-shoe (Susannah or Laura are typically my movable light stand).
Below are some of my favorite Art Crush shots from the last two years.
BURNAWAY is hosting its Art Crush Bash 2012 on Saturday, February 25 at 7 Stages from 7 to 10PM. Between top-notch cocktails, a fake tattoo booth featuring designs by Sam Parker, and a chance to win some quality time with that special, tiger-eyed creative, you won’t want to miss out. This is also a great way to support BURNAWAY as it works to meet its challenge grant. We hope to see you there!
Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light. Check BURNAWAY’s homepage for new photography every week, and watch our Flickr account for regular updates!