Sunday, December 10, 2017

'Portrait of the artist / Rankin / I wouldn't want there to be another me'


Portrait of the artist



'I wouldn't want there to be another me. I've been a bit of a nightmare in my life'

My best shot / Rankin / Beautyfull

Interview by Natalie Hanman

Tuesday 14 November 2006 00.18 GMT


What got you started?
I saw W Eugene Smith's work at the Barbican art gallery a long time ago. I was completely inspired to be that kind of photographer.
What was your big break?
Photographing Björk for Dazed and Confused in the early 1990s. It was the first time I earned a substantial fee for doing something that I loved.
If someone saw one of your photographs in 1,000 years' time, what would it tell them about the year 2006?
Digital retouching has a massive influence on photography now. People looking back at this period in time will see that everything is enhanced - from TV programmes to people. Some of my photographs try to reject that.
Is your work fashionable?
No - I think the most important thing in photography is that your work survives the test of time.
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
My personal life, until recently.
What's the greatest threat to art today?
Commerce. We all earn far too much money.
Does an artist need to suffer to create?
It certainly helps if you're going through a difficult time, whether it's financial or personal.

Vinyl or MP3?
Vinyl because the sound quality is better. MP3s because I'm as lazy as every other person in the world.
What one song would you choose as the soundtrack to your life?
The one song I always go back to is I See a Darkness by Will Oldham. Johnny Cash does a version that I particularly like.
What's your favourite film?
Cinema Paradiso - emotionally it takes me on a journey each time. It makes me cry, and I do like a cry. I'm a bit of a baby, really.
What cultural tip would you give a tourist about Britain's arts scene?
Don't believe the hype.
What work of art would you most like to own?
Pretty much anything by Damien Hirst.
Best thing you've seen on TV recently?
Prime Suspect.
Who's the next you?
I would never want there to be another me. I wouldn't want to inflict that on the world. I've been a bit of a nightmare in my life.
In the movie of your life, who plays you?
Marc Warren. He would play me very well - a skinnier and better-looking me.
What would you do if your eyes failed?

Blag it and buy an auto-focus camera.

Who do you envy?
My son. He's got his whole life ahead of him. I envy that innocence and potential.
Who would you most like to work with?
Sean Penn. I'm trying to direct films at the moment and I'm very attracted to him creatively.
In brief
Born Glasgow, 1966
Lives London
Career In 1991, he co-founded Dazed and Confused magazine. A book of photographs of his favourite model, Tuulitastic: A Photographic Love Letter, is published this month
High point 'My first exhibition, Female Nudes'
Low point 'I don't have any - it's been pretty much up all the way


003 Portrait of the artist / Thea Sharrock / 'Bureaucracy is the greatest threat to art today'

004 Portrait of the artist / Marin Alsop / It's still unusual to see a woman conducting an orchestra

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