As part of our States of Independence summer takeover, 50 American indie icons have volunteered to take the Dazed Pop Quiz; a quick-fire Q&A about what they love and loathe about life in the USA. Check back here every day for more from the series.
Big in the NSFW art game right now, Sandy Kim is a name everyone seems to know at the moment as the New York/San Fran-based photographer who takes risks behind the lens. Most likely to be found on tour taking behind-the-scenes photos with her friends Sky Ferreira and the band Girls, she also shoots her lovers – inspired by how sex bonds everyone together. In her recent exhibition at the Ever Gold gallery, Kim recalled the 'heroin-chic' '90s look with shots of women in ripped tights, covered in period blood. We caught up with her to talk idol worship of Larry Clark, NYC drug laws and being a juvenile delinquent at school.
Which living American do you most admire and why?
Sandy Kim: Larry Clark. He's lived his life like an animal with a camera tapped to his paw. His early book TULSA is still one of the rawest, most beautifully fucked up visions of a side of America most Americans dont even know exist. forget The Sex Pistols or The Ramones, Larry Clark (and Kenneth Anger, but thats a different story) really invented punk. His photos are like Velvet Underground songs brought to life, full of drugs, trannies, dicks, pussies love lust and poverty. He was able to tap into the vein of the dirty American Underground before anyone. Years later when he teamed up with Harmony Korine to bring the world KIDS, it was as if the cast was compiled completely from the direct descendants of the subjects in TULSA. Not since Rebel Without a Cause has a movie so effortlessly captured the reality of what it means to have no future, living everyday like tomorrow might not come.
Which living American do you most despise and why?
Sandy Kim: Fred Phelps, rest in piss.
Whose face should be on the $100 bill?
Sandy Kim: Lou Reed.
What is your favorite quote about America?
Sandy Kim: Land of the free, home of the brave.
What three words define the States today?
Sandy Kim: Broke, delusional, and intoxicated.
Who gave you your first break? Do you still talk?
Sandy Kim: The band Girls, occasionally. I try and stay in contact with everyone who influenced me.
When and where were you happiest?
Sandy Kim: I can't define one moment as my happiest moment.
What high school clique were you in? Do you stay in touch?
Sandy Kim: AZN pride: rice rockets, candy ravers, juvenile delinquents. Occasionally.
What food reminds you of home?
Sandy Kim: Kimchee.
What smell do you associate with the city of your birth?
Sandy Kim: The ocean.
What's the best road trip you've ever been on?
Sandy Kim: The dram trinity tour. Back when I toured with girls, smith westerns and the magib kids.
Where did you first fall in love?
Sandy Kim: San Francisco.
What would make you leave America forever?
Sandy Kim: If I was wanted.
What noise reminds you of the States?
Sandy Kim: American police sirens.
What is your favorite American building
Sandy Kim: Empire state building.
Ultimate American film?
Sandy Kim: Casino.
Ultimate American album?
Sandy Kim: Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan.
Most overrated US tourist attraction
Sandy Kim: Niagra Falls.
Most underrated US tourist attraction
Sandy Kim: Golden Gate Bridge.
Favorite slang phrase?
Sandy Kim: Hella chronic cock sucking cunt licker.
What is your ultimate American guilty pleasure?
Sandy Kim: Smoking weed in the trafic.
Which fictional American do you most identify with?
Sandy Kim: Bart Simpson.
What law would you change or invent?
Sandy Kim: Legalize weed in New York.
Where in the States would you ride out the apocalypse?
Sandy Kim: With Todd Rundgren on Sunset Boulevard.
When was your last run-in with the cops? What happened?
Sandy Kim: When I got arrested by the undercover vandalism squad in NY with Colby.
If you could change one thing about the US, what would it be?
Sandy Kim: Eliminate the military – industrial complex.
If you could vote for Obama again, would you?
Sandy Kim: No.
If you lost it all tomorrow, what would you do the day after?
Sandy Kim: I don't have that much to begin with, so it wouldnt be that much of a change.
What will America look like in 2050?
Sandy Kim: Mexico.
Does the American Dream still exist?
Sandy Kim: Yes, now it's a nightmare.