Andrew M. Casey
An eerily telling quality draws you into Andrew Michael Casey's photos, but still leaves so much to wonder. When I first saw his black and white portraits, I felt these childlike tendencies of mine creep back into my behavior. Not because his images are innocent or light-hearted in any way - in fact they all have a dark seriousness to them - but because they triggered something I don't use too often anymore. As I gazed at each distinctively different character shot from a distinctively different angle, my imagination woke up and I couldn't help but fantasize of the stories behind each person and how they all ended up in front of Casey's lens. His honest approach to the medium creates a realness in each photo that is just as refreshing as his subtle sarcasm seen here in an email between myself and the recent Greenpoint, NYC to Philly transplant.
WC: Where do you live?
AMC: I used to live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn but just moved to Philadelphia.
WC: How did you get into photography?
AMC: At one point my Dad was a detective in the Army and had to do a lot of crime scene photography. I think he really loved it. He had this old Pentax that was passed along between my brothers and sister and encouraged us all. It just stuck with me.
WC: Your photos seem to have a seriousness to them. Would you say this is true?
AMC: Indeed, but I like to think that there might be a levity that rides tandem.
WC: Do your photos have an overall theme?
AMC: I've always been drawn to things or people or places or situations that have an element of struggle or conflict. Within that, I am always trying to reveal warmth or show some evidence of hope.
WC: How do they relate to your life?
AMC: Unfortunately it is a bit of a double edged sword. It can totally connect me to the world, or be totally detaching.
WC: Where do you find inspiration?
AMC: Girlfriends, ex-girlfrinds, family. Trappers. Wolves. Indians and pirates.
WC: What do your subjects have in common?
AMC: Not sure. I think I might be it sometimes. I've met some crazy fuckers.
WC: Who are the people you shoot?
AMC: Mostly friends, lovers, people I have met in my travels, roustabouts...
WC: What do you look for in your subjects?
AMC: Something I wish I had. Or want to keep.... or preserve.
WC: Do you prefer to shoot in black and white?
AMC: Originally I was always black and white to the bone. Occasionally I would binge on chrome film, but when I started shooting with a digital camera and I really started digging color.
WC: What would be a perfect place/day/person to photograph?
AMC: Once I woke up in Badlands at sunrise, and there was a buffalo just hanging out next to me. That might have been it.
WC: Has your life as an artist been affected by the recession?
AMC: Not really. If anything, I started working more and really took it as an opportunity to take some risks and say fuck it.
WC: What do you do other than photography?
AMC: Shoot video, I act, I've done some voice over stuff, hang out on the corner and talk shit with my friends, ride my bike, give my nieces life lessons.
WC: What are your goals as an artist?
AMC: Balance. Balance in all areas.
See more of his photos at andrewmichaelcasey.com