Avedon trained his Rolleiflex on Laura Dern and Ryn Weaver for this issue, but there’s one 2014 moment that the NYC photographer will be most remembered for: “Photographing baby North West – that seems quite definitive in the world of pop culture.” His cinematic study of Detroit’s citizens featured in our autumn issue. “It seems as if we are living in a time of great freedom when it comes to one expressing one’s voice through fashion and the arts,” he says. “I adore the past and I look forward to the future.”
What was your defining pop culture moment of 2014?
Michael Avedon: Photographing baby North West – that seems quite definitive in the world of pop culture.
How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?
Michael Avedon: Explore the heart of independence through my camera and question the beauty and mystery of existence through my written word.
What’s your favourite song and movie of 2014?
Michael Avedon: I am a massive Interpol fan so I would have to go with “All the Rage Back Home” off their new LP El Pintor. Interpol truly reflect the grit and beauty of New York City. My favourite film was 12 Years a Slave. It was truly extraordinary. The English are always beyond brilliant when it comes to storytelling and performance.
How do you think style and pop culture will change in 2015?
Michael Avedon: It seems as if we are living in a time of great freedom when it comes to people expressing their voice through fashion and the arts. The 60s had the blast of the counterculture where colour and sound changed the world, and now in the 21st century, we are redefining style and sound as well. I adore the past and I look forward to the future. Hopefully, this creative freedom will remain in the days to come and humans will continue to have no fear when it comes to creating and expressing.
In 15 words, sum up what we can expect from you in 2015.
Michael Avedon: Creation, faces, poetry, prints, freedom, control, mystery, kindness, compassion, sanity, insanity, fascination, bliss and kiss.
What’s the most exciting thing about the music/film/fashion industry today?
Michael Avedon: The fact that we continue to create and innovate in the media that we adore. Weather it be Arcade Fire fusing electronic rock’n’roll with Haitian jazz, or Raf Simons keeping the beauty of post-war Paris alive yet creating a touch of the new age in his brilliant designs for Dior or (Lorelei) Linklater breaking cinematic history with Boyhood (2014).
Humanity has been blessed with these great creative offerings and outlets. It’s wonderful that we truly take advantage and continue to create on a daily basis.
What new skill did you learn this year?
Michael Avedon: I have always been a man of the past with my photographic practice. I constantly photograph on my Rolleiflex and my 35mm SLR, but this year I also began to photograph digitally and it’s quite exciting. It’s just another tool with which to express your eye. I will always keep my film practice alive and strong, but why not dabble with all of the offerings?
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find out if we looked at your phone?
Michael Avedon: My endless notes of poems and statements on life.
Who should have been at number one on the Dazed 100?
Michael Avedon: Nick Knight continues to create groundbreaking work that inspires and innovates.
Lead image Michael Avedon. Courtesy of the artist
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