Artist Spotlight: John Arsenault
BY Advocate.com Editors
January 21 2011 5:45 PM ET
The Advocate: Why are you a photographer?
John Arsenault: I create images because I have ideas that I feel inspired to try to make come to fruition. I use photography as my medium because a camera allows me to capture moments with friends and lovers or myself within landscapes and my personal surroundings.
What catches your eye?
What catches my eye is unlimited to what I can think of. The smell of a man, a sexy high heel, sunlight, the color of leaves during fall, gold necklaces, tattoos, the ocean, a long braid, flowers, the light streaming across the mountains in Palm Springs, creative people, weathered faces, color, a smile, thick hairy legs on a man, diamonds, water drops on a window after a storm, my friends, sunsets, men in dresses, reflections, lace, hands, fresh cut grass, honesty in a lover's eyes.
Tell us about your process or techniques.
I'm either inspired by an environment — which I then find a way to put myself within to create an image — or I have an idea that I want to create. Once I find the perfect surrounding I make the photograph.
How do you choose your subjects?
Most often I feel inspired by a person, their gesture, their being, and I want to capture it for a visual memory.
How do you describe your work?
My work is a visual diary.
What makes a good photograph or artwork to you?
Art is subjective and what I think is good doesn't matter, but what inspires me is authenticity.
What artists do you take inspiration from and why?
My inspiration comes from so many people. I'll name a few that tantalize my senses: Jim Hodges, Larry Collins, Jack Pierson, Freddie Mercury, Mark Morrisroe, Antony Hegarty, Stephen Shore, Beth Orton, Robert Motherwell, Nan Goldin, Siouxsie Sioux, Picasso, John Waters, David Sedaris, Robert Mapplethorpe, Wolfgang Tillmans, Norman Rockwell, Robyn, Andy Warhol, Edith Piaf, Tom of Finland.
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