Friday, 6 April 2012

Interview with Kevin McDermott

Hello Kevin! Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?

Hello readers, I'm Kevin McDermott. Nice to meet you. I take pictures.

Talk us through an average day in the life of you?

Let's see. I'll try to glam this up. ;-) Well, after ingesting enough coffee to launch me into the world, I usually do a Facebook check to see what Portis is up to, and then do a little photo editing. Maybe a shoot with someone. I'll then head to the gym. I try to workout during business hours because gyms in Chelsea get crazy crowded in the Prime-time hours. Then lunch with Madonna. Then back to editing. I spend a lot of time in front of a screen. Dinner, dancing. You know, the usual.

What better way to start your day than with me! I endorse that. So describe Kevin as a kid?

I grew up in Ohio. One of seven kids. I was the sensitive middle child. Think Jan Brady.

Has much changed now that you are fully grown?

Fully grown sounds so "botanical". I have pubic hair now.

That is so reassuring. I overheard someone in the gym changing room the other day saying to his friend that he can’t grow pubic hair, and he looked like he was fully grown so I guess we’re two of the lucky ones, huh?

How would you describe your photographic style?

I would say my style is simple, clean and hopefully beautiful. I try to elicit some humanity out of humans. I tend to cut to the bare essentials, almost minimalistic, while being quietly erotic.

What do you think your work says about you?

Well, I actually think I'm a pretty straight forward person. I do try to find an elegant beauty in things.

That you most certainly do.

Now Kevin, I have featured your work many a time before on my blog but I would like to talk specifically to you today about your new project with Todd Sanfield which is a coffee table book called MOTEL | HOTEL. What’s it all about fella?

Well, the volume on the erotic dial may be turned up a bit with MOTEL | HOTEL. Last summer I was visiting my family in Ohio. Todd and I spoke and I decided to take a two day diversion and drove the two hours to Detroit to shoot him there in his hometown. So it's a two day sleep over with Todd Sanfield.

..................... Whoa!

How did the idea for the book come about and what made you want to dedicate a whole book to Todd Sanfield, without stating the obvious of course.

Well, we did the shoot, which was a blast actually. I think we both enjoyed each other’s company. Todd is obviously extroverted and I tend to be more reserved, but we worked well together. Remember this was the first time we worked together. Before we started Todd said he wanted the photos to be sexy, so I obliged. When I got back to NY with the photos, I thought they were pretty special. Sexual, yes…but also very human. I think Todd felt very comfortable working with me and I think there is a relaxed nature to him in the photos, besides the obvious heat. Well, I initially thought the shoot would be an editorial and maybe some single shots that I would use in one of my gallery exhibits. But somehow those two shoots, taken as a whole, tell a very erotic little story. I think they are some of the best photos of Todd, and there have been some beautiful sexy photos taken of him. Also, magazine editorials are about selling product, and there wasn't much product in the shoot. There was a lot of skin, and maybe they were a bit too sexy to run in a magazine. So the idea of putting together the book came about. That way I could keep the weekend as a whole and present it in an un-edited elegant way. The book is being printed by one of the premier photo book printers in the US. MOTEL | HOTEL will be a beautiful sexy object itself.

For two days and two nights you photographed Todd in two locations in Detroit; one a roadside motel and the other an elegant hotel. What were you trying to capture in the photos that one location alone might not have given you?

I think over the course of the two day shoot Todd became more comfortable with me and maybe let some of that show in the photos. It's a very intimate look at Todd. I also like the variety of locales. The motel section is presented in colour and the hotel section in black and white.

Did the motel have an ice machine? I’m fascinated by the whole idea of American motels having never stayed in one! What was the room number? Did it sound like someone was being murdered in the room next door to yours?! So many questions, and no doubt so much false information sold to me in movies… do tell!

The motel did have an ice machine. You could drive your car right to your room. It was room 233 on the balcony level. There was no one around us, although there was an office park across the way. There were a few people on the first floor who appeared to be residents. They spent the day with the doors open sitting out in front of their rooms.

Sounds amazing! Movies don't lie!!!

Todd’s body. Do you think your camera did it justice? And are there plans to release a 3D version of the book should this limited run of 1,000 copies sell well?

I hope so. Maybe we'll do a 3D iPad app. :-)

What do you think Todd brings to a photo that makes him such an interesting property?

There is an almost animal sexuality there.

Do you own a pair of Todd Sanfield briefs? (FYI if you haven’t, get Todd to send you a few pairs – they are super comfy!)

I have managed to wrangle a pair of briefs from Todd. They are very comfortable.

How would you sell ‘MOTEL|HOTEL’ to me in one sentence?

If you like Todd, this is it…its all there.

Okay, sold. Now that the coffee book is in the bag can you talk a little about some of the projects you have in the pipeline for the rest of the year?

I'm working with the High Line Park here in New York on a few things, which you will be hearing about soon. I have an exhibit opening this week in New York. You're invited. :-)

Why thank you but I’m not allowed to enter US soil until I apologise to Ryan Gosling for that thing I did last year that I don’t want to talk about. I’m also not ready to apologise. It felt amazing!

Your go-to karaoke song should you find yourself in a karaoke bar?

I've only gone a couple times, but actually in a prior life I was a singer. "I'm Calling You" from Bagdad Café. I know that's a bit obscure.

Which item of clothing in your closet gets most wear and why?

My Levi's.

If the world were coming to an end and you were allowed one last kiss, who would be lucky enough to land on your lips?

Am I still stuck in that elevator with David Gandy? Did Michael Fassbender get in on the floor before we got stuck?

Shhhh. Keep it for the Guest Post OUT LATER THIS WEEK! Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question?

Who are you?

Well I’m a man silly! No seriously… I’m a twelve year old girl from Barcelona who has no inclination whatsoever towards pop culture and is merely conducting a social experiment into the behaviours of men so that I can then take my research convert it into an Oscar worthy script and sell it to Pedro Almodovar to turn into an Oscar worthy movie. I will of course become his muse! You have proved very useful today... kisses... Isabela.

What never fails to make you smile?

Reading Portis Wasp's "Five Questions with.."

You know all the right things to say. Thanks for your time Kevin, let's grab a drink sometime? You bring Todd and I'll bring the tequila!

Pre-order your copy of MOTEL|HOTEL



  1. great, funny, sexy story! bagdad cafe and fassbender, two of my favorites! can`t wait to get my copy delivered! x

  2. I am in love with Kevin´s work the moment I saw one of his pictures. I love the idea of an app book not only of this book but all his work.
    greetings from Mexico City

  3. Awesome interview! Kevin seems just as cool as he is talented. Hope to place my order for MOTEL|HOTEL soon since it's sure to sell out. After all, who could resist a two day sleep over with TS!? ;)


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