BY Albert Smith
January 22 2010 1:00 PM ET
Why are you a photographer?
I am a photographer because I like to steal those moments that we never see again and release back for everyone to enjoy.
What catches your eye?
Nonanimate objects, the heel of a six-inch pump, a child playing freely, a crooked smile, graffiti, and tragedy.
How do you choose your subjects?
I don't necessarily chose my subject but the total opposite. Most of my work is done spontaneously. I don't plan or seek out whom I am going to capture on film. The subjects are usually nonanimate and speak to me from a place that is undescribable. For instance, for my "Red Bike Diaries" series, I was just strolling along and I noitced I passed bicycles on every corner. I brushed it off as coincidence, but then the images stayed on my mind all day and all night. Even though my camera is always in my bag, I did not feel the need to snap photographs. A week later I begin to see clusters of bikes again and took that as a sign that I must capture those objects on film. Most artists tend to have these long, drawn-out, philosophical explanations for their work, but I feel the simpleness of my work is what makes it art.
How do you describe your work?
What makes a good photograph to you?
A good photograph is like a virgin: pure, sweet, innocent, eager, curious, and unexpected.
Who are your favorite artists? And why?
My favorite artists are Beauford Delaney and Andy Warhol. Delaney embodied the true essence of a bothered soul who created an amazingly beautiful world. Though he suffered tremendously mentally and perished penniless, he left us with a colorful explosion of rich landscapes and portraits that are everlasting in character. He was the Harlem Renaissance! I adore Warhol because we were born on the same day!
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