Check out these behind the scenes photos from our day on set!
OC Spring 2010 Womens shoes.
Su and Jesse
Mike and HL between shots.
Tricks of the trade! Making the shoe fit any way you can.
Humberto and Ben, amused.
HL and David
Evelina showing off her nails.
Tie dye! Whoa!
Cori and Ben hugging it out.
Photographed by DAVID BENJAMIN SHERRY and styled by BENJAMIN STURGILL, our Spring 2010 lookbook shoot at Milk studios was an amazing team effort and nothing short of a blast to shoot - and we have the photos to prove it. Check out the full lookbook, as well as a behind the scenes video, photos from the set, and an interview with David where we talk everything from photo to techno!
Opening Ceremony: Our photo shoot a couple weeks ago was set against a rainbow of colorful backdrops. What draws you to the lush, colorful surroundings of most of your photos, and do you like to shoot black and white as well? David Sherry: I am really interested in colors effect on the mind and how colors can change spaces, and the ability to affect feeling and emotions with color. I look to artists like Dan Flavin and John McCracken for their color techniques, trials, studies and inspiring art works. I like to bring new forms of color into traditional photography and create vivid vibrations between photographs as well as dialogues between them too. I like the idea of meditative color as well and when installing photographs, making sure there is a rest for the eye. Sometimes I find that black and white photographs have a meditative quality too and like to intermingle black and white with color photographs to do just this, create static and indirect dialogue amongst photographs.
OC:Nature seems to make it into the studio even in your still life photos – is that a conscious effort? DS: Yes, I am a Naturist by heart and a Futurist by day. I find that while living in the best city on Earth we all need a break sometimes from the extremities of this crazy city life, I enjoy going into Nature and bringing back some type of innocent message from the planet with my work, clearly that we are not bigger than She and also that we are not alone. …Nature can be a guiding force.
OC: You seem to have a fondness for film as opposed to digital. Why analog, rather than digital? DS: I do prefer film to digital. I think because I was trained on film and can think more clearly on film and easily execute my ideas best on film. I print my own work in the darkroom and about 50% of my work is about printing, while the other 50% is about the picture I took. Some people can speak through the computer and use it as a tool. My voice rings best with film and light and moving constantly, loading and unloading film, printing all day and night and physically putting myself into my prints. I'm just not interested in digital photography; I think it’s too easy.
OC: Congrats on your new book (It's Time) which contains examples of your fine art and commercial work. It's cool that you decided to mix the two. Is there a defining separation between your commercial and personal work, or do you think of them as one in the same?
DS: Thank you. I think there is a defining separation between my commercial projects and personal work. The book for me was about a collection of work, mostly art works, intermingled with some of my favorite commercial pictures. I felt that with introducing my first book into the world, I should play between the two worlds and see how they mesh, blend or fight against each other at times. It seemed natural for me to mix up the work with this book, as introducing my work, I like to think, is sometimes about breaking down walls and doing things differently than others. When we were editing the book, I felt like I hadn’t seen some of the pictures juxtaposed against each other before. It began to grow on me and it felt really new, almost like a free form, nonsensical poem that made complete sense to me because ultimately, it was a new way of seeing things and I think that is what I want my pictures to do.
OC: Self-portraiture seems to be a theme throughout your work. How did that come about?
DS: My photographic topic tends to shift amongst various themes, self-portraiture being one of them. I think I first photographed myself because I was lacking a model to execute an idea I wanted to immediately produce. I enjoyed performing for a photograph and the idea of self-portraiture just really began to take a life of its own. I like to be physically available in my artwork – there’s a notion about being honest and open and free in ones work that I have always been drawn to. I enjoy the slight embarrassment and fear factor of possibly exposing something personal and sacred to myself and sharing that with people. Maybe its a form of performance art I that I like to tap into, also the idea of using self portraiture is simply because the photographs are born out of my imagination, brain, heart, blood, tears, semen, sweat, joys and pains. I feel like its only natural to look into myself for questions that arise in my life – I’m the only one who can supply the answers to my destiny and through photographing myself, I feel as if I get closer to finding out the answer. OC: I remember you talking about taking a trek to the salt flats of Utah for a shoot. What's your favorite place you've traveled for a photograph, and where are you looking to go next?
DS: That’s a hard question. I really enjoy exploring untouched and wild places, like the many National Parks in the US. I’m drawn to sacred grounds that have been kept wild through time and give me a sense of spiritual focus when taking pictures. I often research many places and then do my best to travel there with no preconceived notions of any photographs I will take. It’s like a reactionary experience that only happens when I’m up watching the sunrise and begin hiking through these parks, ideas usually come to me then. Each park I’ve been too has its own place in my soul and I look at them as a sum of parks, one is not better than the other. I still have a few parks yet to explore in America. I’m hoping to travel to New Zealand soon and also Iceland.
OC: Did you always want to be a photographer? What were some of your first jobs (photography or otherwise) like?
DS: I wanted to make art at an early age – photography came a bit later, in early college. I was working at the age of 12, making snow-cones on the streets of Woodstock NY and ran so many different types of jobs as a teenager…. from wind chime maker to telemarketer, to skate shops to Starbucks, Old Navy, health food stores…the list keeps going. In college I began internships and I worked as freelance assistants to many different types of photographers, such as David LaChapelle, Taryn Simon, Carter Smith, and Danielle Levitt. These jobs never lasted long….I was an awful assistant.
OC: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
DS: I wanted to make art from a pretty early age….also I wanted to be performer. I had an early obsession with David Bowie that has carried on into present day…he impacted my life in so many ways and gave me courage at a young age to dream and create my own world.
OC: Has your upbringing in Woodstock influenced your work?
DS: Yes, I had a lot of independence and freedom as a child and was left to my own imagination in the woods, the town nourished my head with music and dance and other like-minded children of hippie parents.
OC: The smoke and kaleidoscope effects you use verge on psychedelic – what are your influences?
DS: Psilocybin Mushrooms.
OC: We were listening to some sweet dance music to get us through the 11th hour of that shoot – is that what you usually listen to? Does your music taste change on and off set?
DS: I listen to all types of music and usually rotate it depending on my current state of mind. For about 3 months I have listened to only Detroit and German minimal and hard Techno. It’s the longest stretch for me since I was a 14 listening to electronic music…. but lately its all I want to wake up to, work to, fly to, sleep to, dream to… there’s nothing else I want to hear at the moment.
OC: Everyone seemed to have a great time on set, and there was definitely an adventurous, experimental vibe happening on our shoot. Is that something that tends to happen on a lot of your fashion jobs?
DS: I’m glad to hear that! I always hope that when working with a team on a commercial project that everyone is in good spirits and on the same page for the certain level on of intensity I like to bring to shoots. I used to play Phillip Glass really loud when I worked on commercial jobs but I realized it made the team of people a bit panicky and strangely indecisive. I work best to music like this and also techno. I realized that music has a major effect on teams of people working together and I really like to look at each commercial project as a rave of some sort – where everyone is doing a dance and coming up with a new language and creative problems are solved left and right. The shoots tend to be a rush and a push from so many directions and when working hard, people are exposed in this very natural way…. I like this element about commercial projects. I like that there’s a shared experience and the photographs are the tokens that the team has joined heads to create.
OC: Speaking of, your DJ nights have been few and far between, but totally appreciated! Your set with A-Ron at Main Main a few weeks ago was a major hit. Do we have any more David Sherry DJ gigs to look forward to?
DS: Ahhh! That was an awesome night. A-Ron and I are planning some more upcoming DJ sets. I would like to DJ Techno if anyone in NYC is down with that and reading this! I’m ready!
Photographer: David Benjamin Sherry
Stylist: Benjamin Sturgill
Art Director: Susan Barber
Photo Assistants: Greg Haerling, John David Raper
Stylist Assistant: Cori Barton
Models: Michael Elmquist, D.N.A., Evelina Mambetova, Supreme
Hair: Andre Gunn, The Wall Group
Make-Up: Romero Jennings, M.A.C.
Manicures: Tracylee Percival, Vue Management, Using Minx
Thanks: Jenné Lombardo & Sarah Robinson at M.A.C., Milk Studios