Throughout 2012 I will be recommending one photographer per month who I feel is killing it right now. MULL IT OVER is super proud to present Noah Rabinowitz for the month of January. I am fascinated by this guys work. Enjoy …
JONATHAN CHERRY: What gets you up in the morning?
NOAH RABINOWITZ: Coffee, a bagel, and my East Village Radio alarm, although recently, I’ve been pulled from the bed by the excitement of working in my new studio in Bushwick, BK.
JC: Are there any emerging artists inspiring you at the moment?
NR: I enjoy my friend Cole Sayer’s paintings. I’ve also been really impressed by studio mate’s progressive media work. James George has been using technology to expand the possibilities of image making, ie. 3D reportage, light projections and live interactive visualizations. I wouldn’t necessarily call them emerging, but I am always inspired by the work of Walid Raad and Wolfgang Tillmans.
JC: What is Twelve O’clock Boyz project all about?
NR: The Twelve O’clock Boyz - so-called because of the vertical wheelies many of the dirt bike riders pride themselves on, ride in packs 100 strong through the poor and run-down neighborhoods of Baltimore, creating a new improvisational urban sport that has become legendary in the city. They disregard traffic laws, roadblocks, and the police, who are forbidden to chase the bikes for fear of endangering the public. After “Pug,” a child growing up in the West Baltimore hood, suffers a loss in his family, he finds solace in the group.
For this set of images I collaborated with a good friend, filmmaker, Lotfy Nathan. Lotfy has been documenting the riders for over 3 years and has built a long relationship with group. Because of my experience creating social documents, we discussed working together on this project. In the summer of 2011, I traveled from NYC to Baltimore to photograph the Twelve O’ Clock Boyz as they were being mentored by the experienced riders. I hope these images capture a sense of urban Baltimore and the youth’s desire for inclusion in the pack.
JC: What equipment are you currently using?
NR: I mainly use a Mamiya 7 with Kodak Portra 160, but for most commercial work I fall back on the Canon 5d mkii.
JC: How do you find juggling personal & commercial work?
NR: That is a really tough question. Recently, I’ve worked for artists, fashion designers, filmmakers and a variety of publications, so it is a mix. Day to day, I focus on my personal work and the commercial jobs usually follow from unexpected places.
JC: Any advice to recent photography graduates?
NR: I’m only a few years out of school, so I can’t really speak with too much authority, but I think the most important thing is to stay close with your peers, work to discover who your audience is and never get stuck in a ‘style.’
JC: Favourite tree?
NR: I actually have two. I met a wonderful Juniper vortex tree in Sedona, AZ this summer and also the single old Oak that survives in the courtyard behind my building in Brooklyn.