Ari Marcopoulos Interview
There are fewer photographers that embody such diversity and refinement at the same time. Ari Marcopoulos has become a key artistic documentarians since moving to New York working in multiples areas of the creative world from fashion to music to skate. Having shown his work in some of the most illustrious galleries around the world and having published some amazing books, his stock continues to grow.
James Oliver: What first inspired you to become a photographer?
Ari Marcopoulos: A Camera
JO: What was your first camera?
AM: Olympus Rangefinder
JO: Your break came after assisting Andy Warhol in New York, can you tell us a bit about this experience and how it has shaped your approach to photography.
AM: I printed all his black and white photos for 2 years, it was a lot of time in the darkroom. All photos are good you just have to change your mind.
JO: Around this time you shot many of the famed people around Warhol, and one notable image is the shot of Basquiat in his bathtub, can you tell us a bit about how it came about.
AM: He was taking a bath before getting on a plane to Tokyo, so I took a photo, we both thought it would make for a good picture.
JO: During the 90's you did a lot of work on snowboarding, how did this come about and how did you approach the work?
AM: I don't know how I find myself in different situations it's all by coincidence really. I just photographed what took place in front of me.
JO: Skateboarding is another genre that you have been able to capture over the years, what is it about skating that interests you
AM: The use of Urban Architechture. The Camaraderie. The Dedication needed to do it well.
JO: You have captured some pretty amazing musicians over the years, who are some that stand out?
AM: Don Cherry, Miles Davis, MC Hammer.
JO: A lot of your work seems very instinctive and a process of quick thinking. Does this define your work? In your own words, please explain your style of photography.
AM: My style is to not have a style.
JO: You divide your time between New York and California, can you explain why and what it is that you like and dislike about each place?
AM: I love New York and I love California. In New York I live in the city, in California in the country so they balance each other out perfectly.
JO: Who are some photographers that interest you presently?
AM: Nakahira Takuma, William Egglestone, Chauncey Hare.
JO: What are you working on at the moment that may interest our readers?
AM: An exhibition at Ratio3 in San Francisco. A new film. A book titled "Abandoned Sleep" published by Dashwood Books. JSBJ Has a blue zine coming out.
JO: Words to live by?
AM: Live Life.
Photographer - Ari Marcopoulos