What does film photographer Chad Marshall love most about the art? Read on to see what he tells RAW. And RSVP to see his prints at the next Hollywood showcase on Thursday, August 5th at Cinespace!
Tell us about yourself.
Well, first and foremost, my name is Chad Marshall. I am the son of a single mother and brother of one. I grew up in a small town in Riverside called Perris and ever since I could remember I've been a bit of an artist. I've enjoyed music of all sorts and film, once introduced to me, became something I've yet to let go of. When I was real young, my mother put me and my brother in piano lessons at a private school and it wasn't until 9th grade that my brother and I switched to public school. To be honest, I think it gave me the upper hand because spending eight years in private school (living in a lower middle class environment) and then spending another four years in public school during the hardest times of a child's life really gave me an understanding from both sides of the financial spectrum.
How did you first get started making art?
I don't really remember to be honest with you. My mom has video tapes of me when I was four years old singing and drawing. I guess when I first became conscious of "art" would be around the 5th grade when I made my first little comic book. From there the gears just started going and in the 7th grade my mother bought me my first film camera. I've been shooting ever since.
Describe your work.
If I could describe my work I'd say it is a "beautiful ugly". I figure there's enough light in the world, why not show the beauty of its sibling. I don't really like "dark" material because the majority of people get it wrong. They think that blood and violence is "dark" but, in reality, I think it's a "cop-out". I try my best to show the world that hard shadows and subtracted light can be very attractive to the eye.
From where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Hmmm, that's a good question. I guess it'd be from a point of depression. When I was young I was kind of depressed and being able to get through that stage by myself and look at it from a different light allows me to see things that are viewed by the norm as "unacceptable" as something of beauty. I think thoughts of depression can be a good thing at times and, in a lot of cases, people have produced their best work when they've been taken out of their comfort zone. I'm also a really huge fan of Edgar A. Poe and theories behind Judas and the Land of Nod (where God sent Cain). I guess, in a sense, I've always been in support of the "reject" because they tell the most interesting stories.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I have the power to invoke thought without using words...
Do you engage in, or draw inspiration from, any other forms of art?
Most definitely. Music is huge one. I draw a lot of inspiration from music and poetry. I listen to the classical (Mozart and what not), nothing with vocals while I'm shooting; it's distracting. I love the arts.
From start to finish, explain your process; what does a typical art-making day look like for you?
I wake up around 4:30pm or 5:00pm, open up a fresh roll of film and usually head out to a location that I've had my eyes on for a while. When it comes to photographing people, 95% of the time I don't tell them I'm coming with a camera. the best photos are the ones where no one is looking at you. After the photos have been shot, I head to a lab to get them developed. Usually my day ends around 3:30am or 4:00am. I'm a night owl.
Medium of choice?
Film Camera, the Nikkon FM10. It's a beast.
Are there any artists or art movements, past or present, that strongly inform and influence your work?
Photographs documenting the Great Depression really inspire me as well as those depicting the Holocaust; they are real moments of fear and chaos contained in a still photo which is very interesting to me. As for photographers, there is one at the moment. Her name is Anne Fishbein. I'm not a big fan of her digital work that she does for the LA Weekly, but as far as her film photography goes ... awesome.
Are there any specific reoccurring themes or subjects that you explore and deal with most in your work?
Yes, I usually end up dealing with themes of loneliness and anarchy. I the idea of being free mentally but being physically locked in (and vice versa).
Any previous exhibitions/collaborations that you are most proud of?
This will be my first exhibit. As far as collaborations, I am really of the photoshoot I did with RAW artist Joseph Cabello (painter). I took a still of him in his garage and it just blew my mind how the film capture the moment. I'm also very proud of a project I did called "The Beautiful Ugly" which, in short, is a series of shots of human figures with animal heads.
Why showcase at RAW?
Because RAW is about the artist and not the profit. That's the only reason why I do Photography, for the art, and to have a company who promotes simply for the art is just fantastic. You don't find that now days.