A lot of people I speak to hold Latent Image in high regard, what does your site offer that others out there don’t ?
Thank you! Both for starting out with such a compliment and for also hosting this interview…I’m delighted to participate. Latent Image offers the viewer a dependable source of excellent photography. What sets the site apart would have to be its structured and regimented style. Always one post per day, always five images, always one artist. It has been this way since the beginning in June 2010 (that’s over 1,000 days/posts!). And since the recent redesign of the blog, Latent Image now offers a focused platform to present images clearly.
The work featured on the website is often unknown to me, what is your process of finding new talent ?
I’m very glad to hear that often the photographers are unknown to you! Although I do not mind posting well-known or popular photographers, I do find a lot of joy in sharing someone I’ve come across and never heard of before. I used to obsess on never repeating artists, but I’ve since given that up due to the fact that a photographer can have so many good series. The process of finding photographs to post is fairly organic and ongoing. I am always on the search. Pulling names from anywhere (books, blogs, magazines, gallery shows, links, tabs, conversations with friends, etc). Having said that, I do not get many submissions. I wish people would do that more often.
What names out there really excite you at the moment, what was the last one that really grabbed you ?
Wow, it’s so hard to say. I think part of the reason I love posting once a day is that I don’t have to pick favorites. Daniel Shea is someone who always keeps me interested and engaged. And I’d say that Takizawa Hiroshi and Anthony Smith are two artists who were flat out new to me, but really interesting immediately.
Do you have any curational projects in the pipeline ?
I’ve been having some thoughts about putting on an exhibition. But honestly don’t think I have any amazing ideas for it, not to mention no space to show or the money to coordinate. Those are kind of lame excuses, so perhaps something will materialize in the future.
You recently featured a run of Yale MFA candidates work, is this an institution you admire for its’ photographic output ?
Yale is a program that I’ve watched for a number of years now. My interest started with the amazing photographers who have come out of the program: Tim Davis, Daniel Gordon, Dru Donovan, Richard Mosse, Chuck Close, PL diCorcia. Which was then fortified by the artists currently teaching there: Gregory Crewdson, Paul Graham, Collier Schorr, Alex Prager, Taryn Simon. Plus the Dean of the whole damn school is Rob Storr, amazing curator/critic/writer.
Are there any curators that really inspire you ?
This is a tough question to answer because I truly do not consider myself a “curator” in the traditional sense. I could say John Szarkowski, but wouldn’t that be boring? I can tell you that Lodret Vandret is a new curatorial/publishing duo that I think are doing great things. Also The Tremendous Family from my home state Texas, also has a wonderful stable of artists. Lastly, artist Barry Stone seems to have a curatorial sense than can only be described as magical. The way he takes a set of images and edits, arranges, and presents is amazing.
What are your feelings on Tumblr as a platform ?
I had a whole long answer prepared for this question, then Jörg Colberg of Conscientious published an essay this week on the exact same topic. Read it here. This is a must read for anyone who has any sort of presence on the web, which these days should be everyone.
What is it that inspires you to curate, which aspect(s) make you want to work with others ?
I started Latent Image because I wanted a place to archive, organize and view all of the photographers which I enjoyed. Then as things progressed, I saw it as a place to promote and share artists I find. I’ve heard other artists say they hate looking at the art of their contemporaries but I find it so valuable. Not only by knowing what everyone else is doing (so you don’t do the same), but also I believe it’s important to understand the lens through which you work is going to be received.
If you were to single out a specific nation for its photographic output, which would you say is the most exciting to you ?
Oof, although it’s not a nation, I’d have to say Scandinavia. (Sorry, France!) I believe it stems from my aesthetic alignments in photo.
What are your thoughts on current trends in photography, still life, photoshop, overlays, gradients ?
When photographers start to make work about the digital medium, it’s treacherous territory. Not just because it’s complicated subject matter, but because it’s become so popular to do. I feel some artists use the mechanisms you mention to create a trendy image without content. But there are plenty of artists who tackle this subject head on perfectly: Kate Steciw, Artie Vierkant, Travess Smalley, Joshua Citarella, Parker Ito. However, during a short time of obsessively tagging posts for internal use at Latent Image I noticed the following trends (in order from most common to least): tree, water, shadow, collage, flash, flower, car, rock, smoke, beach, ocean, hand, hair, back, bird, mountain, snow, plant, sun, wall, fruit, red, cat, man, mirror, fire, gun, shine, paper, black, dog, house, etc etc etc.
All images in this post have been featured by Max Marshall on Latent Image, images copyright to their original artists.