Interview with Anthony Gayton
a)Anthony Gayton. I lived and worked in
a)Because I would have been a terrible brick-layer.
a)My usual method is to plan a story/concept and then look for suitable models and locations etc. Sometimes though I will meet someone who will inspire me to create a series or story for them.
a)I studied art and photography in
a)The role of the artist should be to hold up a mirror to society.
a)My first two years of art school were extremely important, and were responsible for the whole direction my work has taken creatively ever since.
a)The digital age has transformed photography. I am very lucky that I worked in photography when every process was analogue. Now I tend to mix analogue and digital processes, using the best elements of both; I shoot entirely on film, combine analogue with photoshop post-production, and use entirely digital printing processes.
a)Whether it is painting, literature or whatever medium, I most admire work which is a combination of technical skill, creative originality, and poignancy of message.
a)I have tried through my work to explore many different facets of, and attitudes to, homosexuality, both in a contemporary and an historical context.
a)One of my most popular series is called 'Boy Will Be Boys'. Two of those images in particular were inspired by real life events.
a)If you think I'm having that published on the internet you can forget it!
a)Between studying photography and assisting the only other job I ever had was a teacher of English to foreign students.
a)Mostly good. My work does tend to appeal to various people on various levels. Some people enjoy the historical and cultural references, others the mood and composition, or the technical side. Some of course like the images because of the beauty of the model. I've certainly found that even my most 'provocative' images rarely outrage people, because of the almost traditional, painterly handling of the subject.
a)That 'artists' whose only real talents are for business can make disproportionate amounts of money, while truly good artists with no head for business have to struggle to survive.
a)When I'm planning a project I can take inspiration from many sources. A lot of my projects are combinations of sexual and social history, science, religion, art history etc. I read a lot - I have quite an extensive library, but also use the internet of course. I also try to travel as much as possible, so that my work has many cultural sources.
a)I quite literally shot it already. It is called 'Falling Awake' (2007).
a)Almost every aspect of modern life since I returned to
a)It's cats, all the way down
a)I've never been into drugs, so I'll just say that it's sometimes better than sex!
a)A lot of my work, especially at the beginning, referenced paintings quite literally, and could have been seen as 'copies', but what I'd do was take a genre or series of images and create a 'fashion story' homage to them. My later works have tended to reference other art works indirectly, or use recognizable iconographic imagery in a way which subverts the original meaning. I always look to the past for inspiration, and I've certainly never knowingly copied another contemporary photographer.