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Kurtz has got your picture
Y'all know Kurtz. If you haven't seen him out snapping pictures at shows, you've probably seen him peddling his ass off on one of those rickshaw dealy-boppers downtown (and in Riverpark).
Famous caught up with him for a few quick pre-ArtHop questions:
Give us the lowdown. Name/age/how long you've been doing this/how you got started/etc.
I'll be 32 in May.
I've been shooting since 2005.
I read a lot to teach myself photography. I'm still learning.
Photography has meant the difference between being alone and making friends since I moved to Fresno.
I try to shoot as many different situations as possible: portraits, documentary, action, bicycle porn and photo stories.
What's your inspiration? Explain a bit about your process.
Inspiration — I liberally steal ideas from photographers, painters, illustrators, sculptors, comic-book artists and classic horror/science fiction/pulp/samurai filmmakers that I think are awesome. I hope to develop my own style soon.
Process — I work a lot with my friends on photo projects. I listen to their ideas. And I let the fuckups happen; overcoming those setbacks make better pieces.
You're showing at Studio Itz tonight. Tell people about the show.
About 50 photos, from life here and New England. You should expect extreme close-ups of people's eyes, personalities in/around downtown, Fresno cultural events, people jumping by local statues, bicycle pornography, samurai sword-fighting Caucasian women, roller derby queens and cannibalistic reanimated corpses chasing beauty pageant contestants.
Kurt Watson will also be showing his wonderful paintings.
There will be at least 3 bands: Ibid, Skinny Fat Kids, and Succulent.
Here's a scenario: A lunatic breaks into your house and you have to defend yourself with a carpenter's hammer. Do you use the hammer head or the claw?
As tempting as the claw would be, it may get stuck in flesh — your first shot would have to be perfect. I'd choose the hammer head for repeated strikes.
Famous users hopefully know you from the Flickr. What's your favorite photo/set of photos?
The Fresno Famous pool is a pleasant experience. I have a few favorites (user names listed here):
Charlie Bones - portraits and her product work
usrid0 — bike life
Ed and Lex — life documentation
Alexandrasara - portraits
Vato Bob - landscapes and sunsets
Shavka - intimate and heartbreaking portraits
Thumbuki - downtown architecture work
airtightgarage1 - shots from the zoo
sirwompus2000 - pinhole photos
jazzportrait - live music shots
rachaelo - self portraits, amusement park photos, and band portraits
rubyran - portraits, which seem to be tourist postcards from a lifelong Fresno resident
matt (mistergoleta) - central valley explorations
The Original Jeff Martin - gorgeous Fresno business sign documentation,
ClubFlys - dirty little nightlife photos
mrphancy - texture close-ups
kristen Irene - beautiful, quiet, suffocating portraits
mike.bot - sharp, sharp fun-lovin' portraits
… oh, man. Too many to list. Take the time to check it out for yourself. You'll be surprised how much awesomeness has been sitting right beside you here in Fresno.
Film vs. digital? Dicuss.
If I had ever taken a photography class and developed film, I would probably prefer 35mm. I don't have the money to develop film properly, though. So for me, a digital camera with interchangeable lenses sets the stage. I try to capture as much as possible in-camera with the settings. And I try to use as little post-processing software as possible. I don't spend as much effort trying to make things look realistic as I do to make them pleasant to my eye.
Free space. Anything else we should know?
I'd rather not say at the moment.