“In a high performance world, Braun creates innovative designs built to last 7 years. Braun profiles 15 innovative guys in an intimate look at their life passions and the unique objects of design and durability that power their life.”
Jeremy Kost has always held his Polaroid close. Since first stepping out onto the streets of New York in the early 2000’s with his Instamatic in hand, Kost rose quickly in the world of fashion photography and has shown his work in Paris and beyond. In that short time, Kost has also published a monograph book collecting his work with the Polaroid medium. His success continues into the new decade with many drawing parallels between his work and legendary pop artist Andy Warhol.
Driven by his passion to preserve ephemeral moments, Kost’s Built to Perform Polaroid camera is a study in both durability and distinction. We team up with Braun to talk to Jeremy Kost on the matter.
Photography by James Ryang
Driven by his passion to preserve ephemeral moments, Kost’s Built to Perform Polaroid camera is a study in both durability and distinction.
1) You just returned from Paris for your “Always the Center of Attention” show at the Nuke Gallery. Please tell us a bit about that show.
The show in Paris is a capsule of what I debuted in New York with the Andy Warhol Museum in May. That show in New York was called “Of An Instance.” It was a survey of three bodies of work of mine in context with Andy’s polaroids from the museum collection.
2) How do you choose your subjects and what is one of your favorite photo shoot stories?
It depends on the body of work. With the celebrity work, it was very circumstantial in terms of whatever the context was. With “Guys,” the [models] came from modeling agencies. For me, it’s less about what a model just booked in terms of campaigns or what they were doing or who else had shot them, and more about are they are right for my work creatively and conceptually.
3) What inspired the concept behind your collages and what is the process that goes into making them?
They’re sort of a multi-layered process as it relates to the collages. There’s sort of this constant location scouting that I’m doing. As I’m driving in LA or walking around in New York or I’m in Paris, I’m looking at all these locations, thinking, “could this be interesting on a physical level?” Then, once I’ve identified places, I think about what subject or character that I work with could be interesting in context with that location. Then, even a layer further, how could their relationship in a guise and a version of their character, speak to that context? As an example, I did a piece with a Gordon Fox who dressed in three different versions of a pig character that she has done in front of a butcher shop that I’ve been looking at for three years on Eighth Avenue. Essentially, we did this Three Little Pig reference. Then there’s the shooting of the work. Then, there’s the resolution phase which happens in the studio and that’s where things happen instinctively. I look at how things have a rhythm visually and how things can become more abstracted or all the different layers that come into the work.The subject is always the focal point, in theory.
4) Your Built to Perform possession is an Image Polaroid camera. Where were you when you first bought it and how long have you had it for? Why is it your most prized possession?
I have 20 cameras but that’s my go-to model of camera that I shoot with. I’ve been using different iterations of that camera since 2004. I don’t remember where I was when I first bought it.
5) How did you first get into shooting with a Polaroid camera?
I was living in Washington, D.C. from 1999 to 2004 and in 2001, I was in Philadelphia with a DJ friend of mine who was DJ-ing a party. Scott’s boyfriend at the time happened to have a Polaroid camera on the wall of his apartment and I took it with me one night to the East Village and the rest is sort of history. It was something that happened sort of by mistake. It wasn’t something that I really anticipated doing.
6) Why would you consider it to be your prized possession?
Shooting with a Polaroid is something that I stuck with but I think there’s also a richness and a sort of color saturation that is impossible to replicate with digital. There is something about the object and this intrinsic value of creating something that’s completely unique.
7) In one sentence, tell us why you couldn’t live without your prized possession.
In a nutshell, it’s a conduit to me creating.