Ryan Tatar Show Tokyo
Big props to our friend Ryan Tatar on his latest photography show at Ron Herman Tokyo.
In Tokyo? Go Visit!
1950 Plymouths and a life spent living
Recently I had the honor of interviewing the supremely talented photographer Eric Kvatek for Revolver and he was ever so gracious to answer some questions about his career, motivations, and the way he goes about crafting his arresting and beautiful photos. Eric has worked for such prominent brands as Kapital, 45rpm, and free people, amongst many more illustrious labels, while also cultivating a body of personal work that is dynamic and evidence of a life of adventure.
How did you get into photography and what has been the trajectory of your career? When did you decide that you were going to pursue photography professionally?
My grandfather Kvatek was an avid amateur photographer. He took photos all through his service in World War II and I discovered his war photos when I was in High School. I saved up $200 and ran out and bought an SLR camera.
I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was 19 years old. I taught myself photography by just walking up and down Central Avenue. It was chock full of drifters, prostitutes and gang members. For some reason they were mostly fine with me shooting them. Back then only sailors, bikers and criminals had tattoos. I had tattoos and they probably just figured I was one of their own?
After seeing Full Metal Jacket I wanted to be a photojournalist. I started going to places I thought were gritty. Mexico, Cambodia and Indonesia etc… places that I could afford to go on my own.
My university degree is in drawing. But I realized photography would allow me to travel and have adventures. That's the reason I have pursued it as a career.
Men in Joshua Tree
You're famous for working with several amazing, prominent Japanese brands. How did you get involved with Kapital and 45rpm?
Eventually a good friend of mine showed Mr. Takahashi, the president of 45rpm, my Indonesia photos. He asked me to shoot 45rpm fashion photos in my reportage style. They assigned a young designer to work with me on the shoots. That designer was Kiro Hirata who is now the designer for Kapital. So one thing leads to another… sometimes.
Left: Men in Masai, Africa, Right: Thai Boxer
Your lookbooks for Kapital have been hugely influential on the way we've styled some of our past lookbooks for Revolver. Can you describe your creative process or what influences you when you are deciding upon the theme or feel for a shoot?
I'm happy that my photos influence or inspire people. I have heard similar stories from people that work at some big brands...
I grew up with stories from Depression era grandfathers. My father was a kind of rebel and a drag racer. My mother rode motorcycles. I worked on farms as a kid and I worked in Alaska in the fishing industry. I have ridden motorcycles since I was 9 years old. I bought my first car, a 1950 Plymouth, when I was 12 years old.
So I consider myself lucky to have the stories from my family to inspire me and my own personal experiences for ideas.
I can't believe you bought a car when you were 12!!! That is WILD!
I lived in Georgia on a dirt road in. So driving it was not a problem. It cost $150. My brother and I sold aluminum cans we collected to pay for it.
A nerdy, gear type question: what are you working with these days? What are your favorite tools?
I use Canon digital cameras and old Nikon and Contax film cameras. But there are new cameras from Sony and Fujifilm that look interesting.
I hope this question isn't too played out, but what do you think about the iPhone and the ease and accessibility of making a "cool" photo now? Do you think it's hurt the field of photography any? Or, conversely, has it advanced any ideas or agendas of photography as an art form or livelihood?
If the iPhone allows people constant access to a camera and the apps and social sites help to excite people about their photos (and their lives) then that's obviously a good thing. Like all machines and tools, it has advantages and limitations. But I would never want it to be the only camera I have with me.
However, if people are standing around messing with their iPhones instead of actually doing their jobs or interacting with their friends… well obviously, that's bad.
Found models, Morocco
One of the things we find intriguing about your work is that you've used nontraditional models in many shoots; older or younger models, or non-model-ly (is that a word??) models. Do you decide upon the models you work with for a particular shoot? Was this a conscious or political choice and what has been the response to this?
Well that started with the idea to shoot fashion photos in a reportage style for 45rpm and then later for Kapital. So we needed to use people that were really fishermen or were really ranch hands.
I personally spend a lot of time finding these characters. Finding the right people is very difficult. Like casting for a film. The individual people have to be interesting but then the entire cast has to make sense as a whole. I like to think that I have some talent in this regards.
I see a lot of stuff now that uses found people, store staff, etc. as models and well, it's not always so good. Just because a guy has a beard doesn't make him a lumberjack or a good fake lumberjack.
But basically, I like shooting people. Many of them are found and some are experienced models and I am interested in the ways they interact and can be portrayed as an interesting cohesive ensemble.
Left: Photographer's father, Right: Found man, Australia
I have one last question. Since the theme of this blog is inspiration and who and what keeps us motivated, who or what inspires or motivates you?
My favorite photographers are Dorthea Lange and Larry Burrows. I am inspired by the films of Terrence Malick and the novels of Cormac McCarthy. But all of that's probably fairly obvious.
100 year old woman, Iceland
(All photographs here within are copyright of Eric Kvatek- © Eric Kvatek. All rights reserved.)
Voyager: Bail Bonds, Water Collections, A-Z
The wonderful Revolver member and Voyager Taj Robinson is on the road collecting interviews, photography and more for on her new book about collective art and living spaces.
She's going to be sharing her adventures with us.
Here are some notes from her first stop in Joshua Tree.
On the Road: Bail Bonds, Water Collections, Deserts
We just made it to Phoenix, after being in Joshua Tree for the last three days and LA for two.
We have been taking quite a lot of pictures, but I am having a bit of a hard time deciding what would be good for revolver.
Here are a few that I think would be good.
Behind the Bail Bonds-
The ten acre, boulder strewn, parcel behind the Bail Bonds is the one corner of A-Z West that is open to the public. Sited up in the rocks is untitled by Sarah Vanderlip (two aluminum truck heads welded together) and below are signs by Julia Scher.
Directions: From 29 Palms Hwy and Park Dr drive east one mile to the big yellow Bail Bonds sign. Turn right onto Neptune. Drive up Neptune. Road will veer left. Follow the road along the power lines and look for a parking spot right before the turnaround area.
Water Collection Installation
Located on the same plot as Behind the Bail Bonds is this unique water collection system, near by are bottles filled from the sculpture for those who have made it up the hill.
Both of these installations are located on the land of A-Z West (http://www.zittel.org/work.
A-Z West in organized by Andrea Zittel. Part of the project are these Wagon Stations (914, 918) which act as temporary off the grid housing for other artist who are in the area. I strongly in courage everyone to look through the projects section of Andrea's website to see all of her inspiring projects she is working on inside her Institute of Investigative Living.
Renkon - The Lotus Root
Renkon - The Lotus Root
Revolver welcomes you to Renkon (Japanese for Lotus Root - slang for a Revolver), our latest pop up gallery exhaulting garden life. Featuring spring inspirations, plant creations, and nature reflecting art, clothing and treasures.
We invite you to our garden party and reception @
Thursday April 21st 7pm to 9pm @ Revolver San Francisco
136 Fillmore San Francisco
New surf inspired pieces by Osaka rooted CREEP Clothing.
Classic American shoes by Walk Over perfect for a stroll through the garden.
Home wares, table wares and linen for home work by Tokyo based Fog Linen
Rain boots and wellies by Tretorn! Get wet and dirty through your spring adventures.
Renkon features in collaboration with various local craft sources beautiful terrariums, plants and growing kits for your home.
Illustrations by Dennis Brown as well lightboxes and iPod Stereos made from reclaimed found items by Devin Kain.
On Through till the end of May, we invite you to visit Revolver for spring treasures.
Renkon @ Revolver.
HeartBreak Shop / Gallery Show
The Heartbreak Pop Up Shop and Gallery
brought to you by Chelsea I Want My Flannel Back
"Guys" by Jesse Pollock
Revolver Gallery and is pleased to present San Francisco-based photographer Jesse
Pollock for a solo show “Guys” – showing new photographs and releasing his new zine
of the same name, at the Revolver Gallery San Francisco.
Revolver Gallery, San Francisco
August 23 – Sept 20, 2010
Opening Reception: Monday, August 23, 2010, 6 – 9 pm
Music during the opening by N amesak E
Accompanying his previous work and subsequent zine Girls, photographer Jesse
Pollock is releasing the counterpart to this series with Guys. The combined set of
photographs center around portraits of both men and women rarely posed and often
in various states of candor. In conjunction with the zine release, the show will center
around photographs selected from that series with emphasis on portraiture. In addition,
the previously out of print Girls zine has been re-issued and will be for sale at the
opening so that the complete set can be made available.
Jesse Pollock (B. 1980) is a freelance photographer and book publisher living in San
Francisco. Having lived in San Francisco for the past ten years, he has worked with a
wide variety of local arts organizations in a number of different capacities. Most recently
he worked within the San Francisco photography collective Hamburger Eyes as a grant
writer and fundraiser, as well as at the arts-based website Fecal Face Dot Com. There
he served as Managing Editor and then as a Senior Contributor before stepping down
to open the publishing house Unpiano Books in the middle of last year. Aside from
his photo-zines Catch A Bad One, Girls, Guys and Angle, his work has appeared in
Juxtapoz, Hamburger Eyes, SF Bay Gaurdian, SFAI, SF Weekly, I Heart Magazine, Day
Four and Weekend Magazine among others. Most recently his work was featured in
Juxtapoz Photo, the first collection of photography work from Juxtapoz Magazine.
“Guys” featuring Jesse Pollock will be on view at Revolver Gallery (136 Fillmore St, San
Francisco) through September 20th.
"Twilight of the Kali Yuga" by Sonya Genel & "Going Over Home" by Marin McCallen
"Bruce Lee - Contact Us" - Adriana Atema
Tuesday June 15 2010
Art Music Tea Party:
Thursday July 8 2010