Ponder Like It’s 1999

As the twentieth century was coming to an end twelve years ago writer Sheila Heti polled a number of friends and colleagues “to learn what artists think about how they work and discover what contemporary artists share.” This project was called Aesthetic 999 and here is my poll…

1. Name
Chris Buck

2. Medium
Photography

3. Process
Photo-chemical

4. Aesthetic
Psychological portraits

5. Aesthetic horror
A great shot that I discover is out of focus

6. At which point in your process you are cheating / a fraud
Cheating – talk to the clients; Fraud – talk to the subject; Freud – talk to the subconscious

7. The elements by which you judge your work.
Visually resolved but not psychologically resolved

8. The basic unit of your work
My interest

9. Which trends in [your medium] are the death of [your medium]
I don’t mind the deadening trends (like the celebration of the Annie Leibovitzes and David LaChappelles of this world). They sort of inspire me to fill the void they leave, but I do want to have children so I’ll like to make a real living doing pictures I care about.

10. What you have borrowed from whom
Other portrait photographers (Penn, Corbijn, Barry, Michals, Hamilton, Arbus…), I borrow their visuals but also (and more valuable) their courage.

11. What is completely your own
Something apparently. I’m not sure what. (Can you tell me?)

12. The most astonishing thing you have seen today
People coming up to Muhammed Ali at the baggage claim, thanking him and kissing him.

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