[Photographer, b. 1941, Hollywood, lives in San Francisco.]
I want to show people as they are, not glorified, no shame—fat, bulges, wrinkles and all. I want the work to be disturbing, unsettling, provocative, challenging, and thought provoking.
I started photographing men in 1964. Fourteen years later I got a Guggenheim, even so no one would publish the male nudes.
I’ve done a lot of nudes and there’s always a sexual charge.
The older I get, the one thing I can trust in myself more than anything else is the way I feel about something. When I photograph I try to be as aware of my feelings as I can be to somehow try and get them out of me and onto the film in terms of the way I am responding or seeing the world.
I’ve consciously tried to be provocative and disturbing.
I think when you’re photographing—when anybody’s photographing another person in a private situation, it’s a kind of a seduction but it’s not always a sexual seduction... I feel like when Jack [Welpott] was doing it, it was a sexual seduction and when I was doing it, it was more of a psychological seduction in order to get them to cooperate with me... Not because I wanted them to spread their legs or... be, you know, “Wanna sleep with me?”, or whatever.
Portraits I’ve done in the past I’ve always thought were a reflection of me.