Interview with Chris Chludenski

July 22nd 2010

Interview with Chris Chludenski

Chris Chludenski has a home/studio that resembles Brooklyn’s version of ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’, complete with giant tribal masks, other peoples’ snap shots stuck to the fridge, a stack of early 90’s video games and his recently established ‘Debaucherous Brewery’ in the corner.

Yes he brews a mean beer, I can vouch for that.  He can also pull off a cowboy hat like no other, bowls like a demon, and has a moustache that puts Tom Sellick to serious shame.

IS: How long have you been making your mobiles?

CC: For about 10 years now.

IS: What is it about mobiles that interest you?

CC: There’s something sexy about a finely balanced mobile delicately turning about itself. They’re very calming to watch I think.

IS: You seem to be a bit of a collector. As well as random objects collected for your mobiles, you collect old film cameras. How many do you think you have? And how many of those actually work?

CC: I’ve amassed about 200 cameras. Almost all of the Polaroids still work and are in use, but many of the Kodaks and Imperials require film thats no longer manufactured.

IS:  What are you interested in exploring with your photography?

CC: I’m primarily shooting instant photos now. Thanks to the Impossible Project, sx70 and 600 speed film is back in limited production, and Fuji is also making film that works in some of the older Polaroids.

I like shooting objects, scenes, places that are devoid of humans. I like the feeling of holding a one-time print that can’t be reproduced or changed, and I like the square format. The photos feel like they’re from a different age and time that I guess I long to get back to somehow.

IS: How do you feel about digital photography?

CC: Digital photography has allowed anyone to become a fairly good photographer with little or no effort. There used to be a lot more skill and knowledge that went into shooting, composing and printing images. What previously could take hours in a darkroom to accomplish now simply takes a few clicks on a computer screen. This is good for convenience I suppose, but I personally think its bad for photography in general.

IS: You live in a large live/work space full of other people working in creative industries. How do you think this affects your own work?

CC: I find it inspiring. Seeing other people working on things that they’re passionate about makes me focus on what I’m doing a little more. It’s also helpful to have friendly artists around when you need advice or materials.

IS: What’s the best thing about New York?

CC: Always something new to see or experience.

IS: What’ the best thing about you?

CC: My mustache?