HUB magazine - #13 - end of '97 issue



"It all began with skating. I went to Kenter Canyon School, probably as early as 1972, my first year in school there I was skateboarding on the sidewalk outside the school, not even on the banks yet. I've been skating there most of my life and that's not an exaggeration, I was probably 9 or 10 years old then, and skated the banks there ever since. Everytime I'm out there, I stop by and take at least a few runs.

"There used to be big groups of people coming there to skate after surfing in the morning or when the waves were flat. All of a sudden you had these magazines coming out, SkateBoarder magazine was the shit back then, and I noticed that the people I was skating with were all of a sudden in the magazines, people like Tony [Alva], Jay [Adams], Stacy [Peralta], among others . . . I was at Kenter all the time, and I took a photography class in 7th grade, and I just started snapping photos with a pocket instamatic, and I thought I was getting stuff that was as good, if not better than what was in the magazines. I might've been wrong but that's what I was thinking. . . I was feeling that it needed to be done.

"I'm very motivated by my subjects in a very personal way. For me life and work is about passion and integrity, and I think about these things before I decide to take photos. Sometimes I won't use my camera for six months at a time, I'm not one of these people who just walks around with a camera snapping photos of everything and everybody. It's a very personal thing for me to take out my camera. Something there has to kick my ass, and tell my brain "that's something you want to capture on film".

"The last thing I shot was Fugazi live , here in New York. They're always motivating me, they're an incredible band, every album they make always gets better, they sing about things that are very important to the culture and the world we live in. They have more integrity and passion than anyone I've ever met. Ever.

"Recently, I've been shooting a lot of landscapes and stuff like that. I'm either motivated by the people, the situation, or by the beauty of the circumstance, whether it's something that's aesthetic or emotional, even political . . .

"I shoot 35 mm exclusively and I almost never shoot anything commissioned period. I usually shoot things because I want to first, and then maybe sell them later. Very rarely am I hired by people directly to do specific things. I just don't like to do jobs that way, it puts too much pressure on me. I like to shoot things that I like to shoot.

"And when it comes time to consider a job offer, if necessary I'll ask what the client is interested in. What are the specific uses? Printing specs? How do they deal with the environment? Do they sell products to the arms industry? Do they support nuclear power? Is the company involved in any animal testing? What are the company standards? I want to know all these things before I work for a company or even sell them a photo I have on file . . . I can not believe how surprised these people are when they hear these questions asked of them, as though no one ever even questioned them before, particularly while they were waving checks in their faces. . . and it's really sad actually that so few people seem to care. I really believe it's the spineless apathetic attitudes, or on the other hand, the fierce greed of others that will be the downfall of humans.

"I'm not perfect and not everything I do is, that's for sure. I'm sure I could probably find something wrong with every project I've ever worked on. But hopefully with experience things improve each time.

"I'm very interested in the environment and politics. These are things that affect people's daily lives and I think it's extremely important in the scheme of things. The only magazine I read consistently is The Nation . . . Occasionally some music/lifestyle mags have some interesting things . . . but you know, Magazines like Alternative Press (not alternative at all). . . what a piece of crap that is. Interview magazine? Total piece of shit. Details is among the worst ... most magazines today are Worthless! . . . Editors are just putting stuffing between advertising. Whatever happened to the idea of putting out a magazine of things you want to put out? It's ridiculous what people put in their magazines just to get ads. It's even worse to see that people don't mind selling those pages for such shit to be promoted. Not to mention the incredible amounts of paper being wasted to print such nothingness.

"I think it's great if people want to take pictures for their own hobbies and stuff like that, but in general, people are wasting lots and lots of film which is bad for the environment, and it's stupid, it's wasting people's time. I don't like what I see being done with photography today in general. To me character and composition are the most important aspects of an image. It's trendy now to print out of focus pictures. I think people have made it "in fashion" because there's just not that many good photographers out there and they need an excuse to use particular images, so they made it cool. It's the emperor's new clothes. They said it's good so everyone thinks it's good. It's bullshit, and I'll call it every time I see it.

"In all forms of art, I thought the goals were to try and express ideas, and creativity, or change the world, and help people relate to their own lives better, by sharing and communicating with them through your creations with emotion or ideals. Unfortunately the false appetites created by capitalism in this day and age have distorted these ideals. And selling products, rather than ideas, has become more important to bullshit society at large.


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(4 full pages including center spread, all color with many photos, some previously unpublished)