JONATHAN CHERRY: What got you started with photography?
CHERILYN KURTZ: i love using lower-case letters. i know i should capitalize properly but i don’t like to.
photography and i didn’t meet each other until my second year of college. i was lost on what i wanted to be when i “grew up”. i remember being home over break making an announcement to my family in the kitchen. it was a big deal to me. all of my general education classes would mean something. i would get my degree doing something i enjoyed, taking photographs. at the end of my four years i had fallen in love with analog film and the darkroom. i currently shoot with my mother’s old pentax k1000. we are buds.
JC: Any emerging artists inspiring you at the moment?
CK: i take notes as i go. sophie van der perre is wonderful but i suppose if you are on tiny vices you are no longer “emerging”. anyway, love her. recently behance has been an inspiring resource. yatender a.k.a kim-ngan ao specifically. again, she probably isn’t “emerging” either. i’m not very good at this question… eric helvie is an artist i’ve always admired. jeff beaver’s work is fun, check it out.
JC: Whats your current project all about?
CK: my goal is to change the perspective on what some would consider as being ordinary. i give the elements of my photographs an opportunity to be viewed as lovely and noteworthy. second hand clothing, ordinary women and spaces you wouldn’t look twice at… or maybe you would. i change the direction of their narrative. for a moment. and as long as these images survive. 60x and what we saw are ongoing projects documenting life as i go.
we will see where it goes from here. i am excited to see how my work matures. i have been experimenting. it’s good.
JC: Where are you currently living and how is it shaping you?
CK: small town indiana.
there is a lot of character between the people, older homes and corn fields. the simple life. a great place to focus on what i am doing. it gives me a lot of space to wonder without consequence or fear of cops (so far). i can bring new life and perspective through my images. i hope it would be surprising for someone to look at my work and then visit my home. i will take that with me.
JC: One piece of advice to recent photography graduates?
CK: read art and fear.
“but the important point here is not that you have—or don’t have—what other artists have, but rather that it doesn’t matter. whatever they have is something needed to do their work—it wouldn’t help you in your work even if you had it. their magic is theirs. you don’t lack it. you don’t need it. it has nothing to do with you. period.”
explore where your creativity and inspiration take you regardless of the medium. failure is good. it stirs growth and a healthy, humble perspective.
JC: Any big plans for 2012?
CK: my side project: kevin the cat cards. inspired by my cat kevin.
JC: Favourite tree?
CK: as a kid i would climb trees with my barbies. i tied a string to their ankles and pretended they were bungee jumping. of course they didn’t really bounce back. my favorite tree is one i can climb and bungee jump barbies from.