Music photography and iconography are seemingly one in the same thing. You look at a picture of say Rick 'The Boss' Ross and you think ', you know what he is THE Boss.' A lot of hip-hop culture is basically an artist standing there saying ', this is who I am and this is what I've got, this is MY story.' But without photographers these images don't exist.
Without people like Gavin Thomas we can't ogle at these people. Can't rip their portraits out of magazines and cover our walls with them. We can't rip them out of magazines like VNDL, where Gavin is Editor-in-Chief.
Gavin Thomas is a New Yorker. Born in Rochester, Gavin studied at Rochester Institute of Technology and has since been photographing the people, places and faces of New York and those that go there to find their fame and fortune. Gavin is there to help leave their iconography on the industry. His own photography has graced the pages of Elle (UK,) New York Magazine, Inked and Popcorn just to name but a few.
He's also crazy-good at double exposures and in-camera effects. His humble film photography is nothing to brush off either.
Turning the lens onto Gavin, he sat down to face the ol' "5 Questions in 5 minutes."
D.C - Straight up I love double exposures. Do you use film and expose in camera or use digital and post-process?
G.T - Yes, I use film and expose in camera; no digital double exposures or layering in Photoshop. I typically use two or three cameras and shoot the film all the way through. Then, rewind and repeat. It’s very important to stay organized and label everything. My approach to multiple exposures is similar to painting. I build up layers upon layers; sometimes masking the lens with black tape or even a finger.
D.C - Is it a challenge to capture your subject's personality in just a studio shoot or do you find they come out of their shell pretty quickly?
G.T - Sometimes it’s a challenge, for sure. However, most of the time, people come out of their shells. It’s all about making them comfortable in front of the lens. I try to have a quick chat about either what I’m doing or briefly mention my goal. Even if we jump right into shooting I usually show a couple photos so they can see what is happening.
D.C - Proudest moment or biggest break?
G.T - When I got a phone call from AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) about shooting a story for them. They wanted me to do portraits using multiple exposures. I pretty much lost it (tears of joy) when they told me about the project and that I had to fly to five different cities across the US over the course of two weeks. My next phone call was to my parents to thank them for believing in me and supporting my dream of becoming a photographer.
D.C - Do you think having a photography background helps or hinders with a second job like E.I.C at VNDL? Or is it more of a case of the two going hand in hand, a natural progression?
G.T - In a way, the two pretty much go hand in hand. I started VNDL with very high standards for the photography/visuals. However, being the EIC comes with many more responsibilities than I could have ever anticipated. One of the benefits is that this experience has improved my ability to edit my own work.
D.C - Finally, what tracks do you blast in the studio/office and unwind to at home?
G.T - So much music is blasted. Lately, I’ve been into When Saints Go Machine, Son Lux, Thomas Azier, PAWS, Homeboy Sandman and Ancient Sky. Rob Bailey and The Hustle Standard have some great songs to listen to when working out. Overall, I probably I listen to way too much music. But it's fun to discover new bands and songs, as well as other talented artists, photographers and creatives.
TechnoDrome, really Joshua Williams, is jumping out of his art and onto your backs with the launch of his latest project Drome NYC – a streetwear and art brand taking TechnoDrome’s pop art and making it wearable.
With a strong focus on pop culture figures (Biggie, Tu-Pac, Steve Jobs, Bill Murray ETC ETC) Drome NYC is TechnoDrome’s way of making his art accessible. In Joshua’s own words,
“Technodrome1 is creative evolution. I want to take over the world’s perception of what art is and can be.”
“I am a creator."
DROME NYC as a brand encompasses everything
from Steve Jobs and Bruce Willis Prints to Bryan Cranston iPhone covers, Kanye
tee’s and Snoop Dog decks. The look and feel oozes with TechnoDrome’s pop-art
cubism abstracted portraits of pop-culture icons. Got that? Basically DROME NYC
takes all your childhood heroes, puts them in technicolour abstraction and then
offers them up for grabs to wear or use.
I pinned down Joshua for a bit of a chat
about the launch of DROME NYC and on
creating wearable art.
D.C - Is a
"brand" a physical outlet for your art?
T.D - The brand is definitely a physical outlet -
our manifestation of the art…
It has pretty much been my dream to keep
moving forward with my work
and life and having a way to produce things
on a higher level. (Through) DromeNYC.com is the best way right now to
D.C - Did
you always want to create tangible art for people to have and hold, to use?
T.D - I always wanted to create beautiful things.
It naturally progressed into wanting to place my work on, or cover objects
D.C - Then
is Drome really art?
T.D - I don’t think it matters.
D.C - Why
do Drome now? Did you decide to take the next step or was it just an out of the
T.D - Drome had to happen now, with a new year
upon us and new ideas I needed to get (it) out of my head. Drome was the
natural, obvious next step, to get the artwork off of the computer and into the
world in more ways than just a print.
D.C - How
did Joshua/T.D start out in art?
T.D - I started out in art since I started
watching television - ninja turtles and other cartoons inspired me to want
to create beautiful things. I always wanted to be the best at drawing, and my
father was an oil painter, seeing his work early on in my life really blew my
I studied art in college but I was always
destined to be involved in it since I was born.
D.C - Who or what are your inspirations for
T.D - Warhol, Basquait, Kaws.
I think instead of calling it all "
art " I think it should be described as a lifestyle.
Art Isn’t just visual or aesthetic, it’s
the way a person moves, the way someone speaks, the smell of a favorite dish. It
involves all your senses.
Art is living basically - it’s everything
you or I do everything inspires me.
D.C - Is it
a fascination with pop culture figures or just something for customers to
T.D - I am deeply fascinated with pop
culture in general. I think we all are to some degree, it’s unavoidable
all consuming brainwash of a good time, and I like that about it. Art is
life, and pop culture is almost all about what these icons are like, we're not
only fascinated with the music or movies these figures make, but what they
are wearing and what they are saying, and what they do when they are not acting
or raping ect. We are so interested in other peoples " lives" - what
better subject to make art with then art itself.
D.C - Do
you think you could ever create a consumable museum piece? Or am I veering too
T.D - I don’t see why not.
D.C - Have
you always been inspired by those guys (Warhol etc) and is Drome an
appreciation or reaction?
T.D - I guess I’ve always been inspired by Andy
and the others from the first time I saw them, or their work. I don’t
really revisit many things I’ve seen, and I’m not very familiar with
the details, I just take that initial punch in the face
of inspiration and store it in my subconscious for later.
The Stills and Strokes duo of Melanie Homann and Stefan Vorbeck present their latest editorial for Plaza Magazine's "Heavy Metal" section.
No not Rammstein silly! The watch section of a luxè magazine where your wallet needs to be nearly as heavy as your wrist wear. Their latest pop-play on watch editorials depicts cartoon mongrels trying to steal the eye-candy right from the magazine pages and stacks of "$10 000" bills.
Nick Thomm is back with another instalment of his collage artwork that makes yours look like dog-chewed homework. This time teaming up with online store Mercy-Merci head honcho Jay Ramsay and his "girl gang" (staring local model Chloe Worthington.) The collab will be taking up residency at Melbourne's infamous Chin Chin restaurant and Go Go bar until the end of April.
I once said I'd never wait for a table there, but now I'm eating my words to get in and see the work.
The collection combines Nick Thomm's style with fashion editorials by Jay Ramsay and features four mixed media pieces, three photographic prints and the centrepiece - a loud and proud pink neon sign branding "Support Your Local Girl Gang" complete with a love heart.
Australian Artist Nick Thomm releases the latest range of Skate Moss.
Nick is the name behind the initial range of Skate Moss and internet prolific "Real Eyes/ Realise/ Real Lies." The latest instalment features Kate Moss mashed up, or spliced and diced, then screen printed onto 100% Canadian Maple in North America.
Nick Thomm is also founding member of SRC783 Magazine (first issue featured here) and THE DROP studio. Heavy weight clients include Nike, Red Bull and BBC. So with a prolific profile like Nick's, the latest drop of Skate Moss is bound to go quick. Get in and grab one online now. Or purchase/peruse Nick's other works depending on how Iggy Azalea you are right now.