Start a War Online Exhibition: Interview with photographer Kevin Morosky
Fresh from his successful show 'SIX' last year, London-based photographer Kevin Morosky continues to explore the nature of human relationships in his new photography online exhibition 'Start a War'. He moves on to collaborate with his buddies, the new wave pop duo We the Committee, who provided the song which became the backdrop for this amazing online exhibition.
The haunting and melancholic sound by We the Committee heightens and complements Kevin's raw, intimate and honest series about a couple going through the motions of love and the infighting that goes along with it. If Kevin's 'SIX' explored the theory of six degrees of separation and how we are all connected with each other, 'Start a War' is not afraid to delve into the root and intimacy of love relationships. Morosky says, 'The real question is when we start a relationship, do we love and fight at the same time or are we just starting wars?'
More than just capturing perfect and polished shots, Kevin's 'Start a War' gives us an intimate portrayal of a couple entangled in love and war. The result is an honest, almost quasi-documentary style of photography albeit one that exudes that edgy, rock-like quality that you see in album covers or possibly fashion magazines.
Visit the online exhibition at www.startawarmorosky.com
You had an exhibit last year called 'SIX' and now this online exhibition 'Start A War' – tell us why you are so interested to portray the nature of human relationships in your work.
It's my contribution, I don't see that on television, or in magazines. All I see are super-hyperised situations followed by adverts selling you the cure. They make shows and write about people with eating disorders, and six yr old wanting nose jobs, Jeremy Kyle asks us to watch and find out why 'Rebecca's mum slept with her daughter's husband and Maury Povich is trying to find out 'who the baby daddy is'. I just want to put pieces of work out there that inspire and tickle not cause gossip, and make people want to recoil from interacting and sharing.
'SIX' was about how we are all connected, I had well-known faces and not-so-well-known faces. The point with that was, if you came to the gallery and interacted with me, and connected, then you also knew Mischa Barton and my barber Ed via the rules and science of six degrees. With 'Start A War' the way I've presented it and given it away takes more of a lead on my attempt to get people to interact, via the networks of Twitter and Facebook. The work itself, in my eyes, has almost become an extra element. Twitter and Facebook and all forms of social media are all guilty of the thing I'm fighting against, but used in the right way can help spread inspiration. I hope my work demonstrates that in action.
'Start A War' is a collaboration with 'We the Committee' – how did the collaboration start? Tell us a little bit about the production – how did you end up with a concept, the casting, equipment used?
I've been friends with 'We The Committee' for a while, I heard the song and instantly wanted to help share it. Originally I was going to make a short film, which I still might do, but I just kept seeing the images in my head every time I played the song, so I just stuck with stills. I'd been aware of Ricky for a while, and as soon as I heard the song and the thought to make something settled, I knew he was going to be the guy. Ellis just fell into my lap. What I love about working with her on this is that this type of shoot is not her normal thing. I took a certain type of model and turned her into something else. I like that message, even if I'm the only one that knows it exists in this work, you can always change things, always improve them or edit always simplify.
Your photography seems to encompass both photojournalism and documentary but also exudes that kind of youthful vibe that you see in fashion photography (correct me if I am wrong). How exactly would you describe your own work?
I love to document. I like to tell stories and be told stories. I like to find out the birth and death of things. Christopher Wallace in my eyes was one of the best storytellers ever. I wanted to tell stories like him but just with my camera. I think the reason why my photography lacks that fashion vibe is that I don't care about making things look pretty. I don't care about lights or retouching or focus. I like the reality of things. Fashion photography is portraying to a certain extent "a life that's better than yours" or "a life you desperately need"; I'm not for that message. I'm more about 'This is what I saw, can you relate? Cool if you can't, let's have a conversation anyway.' I'd say my photography is about the magic of people, I always thought that a good picture, a great photographer was one whose pictures allowed you to get lost in them for a couple of minutes. If you can flick straight through the images, if you have no desire to go back to a certain image, well then I haven't produced great work.
Why did you decide to show these images as an online exhibition – do you see the internet as a more open avenue for photographers like you? Are you considering doing more online exhibitions in the future?
I did it online for a number of reasons. The main point is that I wanted to see how I could spread art and connect with people. I wanted to get as many people involved as possible. I wanted to try and create something that was almost like a mix tape for an artist. I also wanted to wake and shake galleries up a little, give them a little nudge and say 'Newer artists will override your secret member's club bullshit if you don't start supporting artists on a wider scale, not just your friends.' I think I'll probably do more shows online, the next one I'll do will be a gallery show, but after that, I'm sure I will.
Film or digital? How many cameras do you own
Film. I shoot on digital as well, but film all the way. There is no editing with film, it is what it is and demands to be respected. I have a Yashica T4, a Hasselblad 500 EL/M, Contax T2, Canon, Richo GXR.
Any advice on budding photographers?
If you are in university, learn the business parts and ignore your tutors' issues with the way you shoot. They know sweet FA about the way YOU shoot.
Do not pay attention to what other photographers got or get asked to do. What they eat does not make you shit, concentrate on your own goals.
Take a picture every day, and practice your art like an athlete does his/her sport. Get better, and better and better.
It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
New exhibition 'START A WAR' live from the 19.11.12 till 30.12.12