With North Korea posturing in war-like ways one can’t help but think of the genius of Vice. In fact, Dennis Rodman had just returned from his diplomatic liaison with Kim Jong-un when The New Yorker sent me to photograph the principle figures of the company.
I had shot these same three five years before for Wired Magazine, with great results. This is both bad – a lot to live up to with the new session – and good – the Vice workers are respectful and helpful, calling this portrait, “the only good one that’s been done of them.” Helpful means escorting me around their oddball and intertwined offices to find shooting locations, cast staff with suitable haircuts, and stockpile weird knickknacks as possible props.
DPRK may collapse, bringing instability to East Asia, Vice Media may implode, in a glorious self-inflicted way, bringing sadness to HBO, but we’ll always have the photographs from that balmy day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Much appreciation to Jessie Wender and Whitney Johnson at The New Yorker for the fantastic assignment – and running the best shot from the session!