AURORA GOES WILD WITH
unusual interviews in the Pussy Pusher’s style.
Episode 16: BOBBY ANGER
When did you decide to start shooting girls? What was your “mental process” behind the decision?
I make images to better understand the issues I am working through in my life. I define those issues currently to be the things we lose in exchange for knowledge or experience. They are things such as innocence, youth and beauty. For me, those traits seem to be assigned to one gender more readily than the other.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
There is a small white cat that sleeps by my feet. As soon as I stir in the morning, she comes and sits on my chest. I massage her gently behind the ears and on her neck. Then she moves around to allow me to scratch her back. When she has had enough, she goes back down to the foot of the bed. I look out the window into the trees. I listen to the cars on a distant road and by their frequency, place myself in time.
Does your mother appreciate your pictures?
She has appreciated them before. There was a picture I took when I was young of our family pet stretched out on the woodpile in the backyard. It was an overcast day with a soft even light. I used a narrow depth of field for the image. The pet lay on its back and reached to the camera with its paws. She liked that image very much. She has been less enthusiastic about much of my work since then. I don’t take it personal though.
A movie that we should watch.
It is hard to find unique voices in film. Most movies are made by committees. Committees seem interested in a return on their investment. I would say that a few like Terrence Malick and David Lynch find a way through these barriers.
That said, a recent independent film has stayed for some time in my thoughts. It is Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Who is your “dream” model? Where would you love to set your shooting?
I work with many excellent models already. They are each perfect in their own way. If I could only choose one though, I would have to take a bit of each of them.
Perhaps I could take the mannerist elegance and depth of expression of Seraphina Song, the gentle nature and movements of NX/A. Brinton, the raw fierceness of JEM, the confidence of LiiLii, the unquenchable youthful joy of Anastassia Bear and Hex Hypoxia, the perfect, compact independence of LauraUnbound, the spirit of creative adventure of Sera Ferron. If the scientist out there can isolate those traits and combine them into one, perhaps that would be my dream model.
She would live in a house in the fields. She would sleep in a long white gown her grandmother wore on her wedding night. She would wake while it was dark and walk with me though the trees with the dew still wet on the ground and the mist hanging low in the air. We would come to a clearing in the first gray light of morning as the animals still slept in their grassy beds. As I would raise my camera, she would speak to me without words and tell me the story of mankind.
Are you keeping your work secret to someone?
It is not a secret, but I do not discuss it with people often. I realized at some point that when you care deeply about something, there are few in the world who are likely to feel the same way. To share it with them takes an essential part of it away.
Are you usually turned on by the model you are shooting?
There is often an intimacy, but not a physical one. It is the intimacy that comes from sharing and creating something that we feel is meaningful. It binds us in way that I cannot explain.
Name three photographers that you consider masters.
There are many photographers I respect, but I feel the medium is too young yet to have masters. I would however spin your question a bit and say that Vermeer, Velázquez and Caravaggio are three masters I have always considered photographers.
Did any model ever get mad at you because she was looking “ugly” in your pictures?
The simple answer is no.
I will add a thought though that may offer some insight into this. When you are starting out, you are trying to find your style, your voice. You bring all your cameras to a shoot, pack all your gear. You yourself are not sure what will happen. Once you develop a style though, models contact you to shoot with clear expectations of what the outcome will be.
What I often say to them though to define my approach is that I am not trying to make a beautiful picture of them, I am trying to make a beautiful picture that they are a part of.
What do you do in your free time?
I walk in places I am not likely to encounter people. I read. I write. It is all a part of this in some way.
What is the difference between a good nude picture and an amazing one?
In a good picture, you notice something about the quality of the image before you notice the subject is nude. Perhaps it is how the light defines form or how the form relates to its environment. Nudity is not the main interest of the image.
In an amazing one, you notice something unexpected but familiar within yourself before you notice the quality of the image.
Who is, in your opinion, the most overrated nude photographer? And the one who is not appreciate yet?
I am unaware of a rating system to measure such things and would be skeptical of the rubrics involved if one existed. I would simply say that we place a great deal of importance in our culture on popularity and rarely are the important things popular.
As far as list of under appreciated photographers goes, I would put those who inspire me not only with their images, but regularly reach out to me with their words and encouragement as well. Those would be Oliver Berlin down in Tasmania, Anisa Nin in North Dakota and Artografico in New York.
Your biggest fault.
I fight a daily battle to keep a balance between what I think and what I feel.
What does your partner think about your work?
She thinks of me as a faithful, well-read and moral man who occasionally does things profoundly incompatible with his nature.
Do you remember your dreams in the morning? Are you able to interpret them?
I rarely remember them. They seem so important though when you wake from them in the middle of the night.
I sat up recently, turned on the light and wrote one down on an index card that was on my nightstand. I forgot all about it until sometime later when I found a torn corner of the card beneath my bed. My dog had eaten the rest. I have no idea what it said.
email: revbobbyanger (at) gmail (dot) com