Americana scenes with Ben Pier at Maison Kitsuné
On April 15th, Maison Kitsuné hosted a photography exhibition with Ben Pier, titled Nothing You Don’t Know. Pier’s content is a collection of candid visuals portraying the scenarios and colors of the urban Americana experience.
From one coast to another, St. Louis native Ben was able to capture the most authentic places that make the United States one of the most spectacular places to ever be in: the solar and spacious Los Angeles and the gritty and sharp New York City.
With its energetic harmony in full Aries season, the Kitsuné establishment – both Cafè and Maison – welcomed artists of all types and from all over the world, including Brooklyn-based DJ, model, actress, and art director from Washington, D.C. Dylan Ali.
To The Garnette Report, Ben has shared his thoughts on his work and job as a photographer. Make sure to check out his website for further details on his events, collaborations, and pieces.
- For this exhibition, Nothing You Don’t Know, your subjects are the most mundane yet captivating elements that the USA can be represented with. What makes a subject so special to you?
It just has to hit me like a bolt. When you see it you see it. And then it’s very easy for me. Yes, I think it has to represent something and can be like a sign in a lot of ways. Like they should pack in a lot of information and be representative and speak to a bigger idea, but I also sort of subtle and something that would possibly go unseen. It’s pretty rare, but if you travel enough and keep your eyes open it’s amazing how often these things reveal themselves.
- Nothing You Don’t Know: could you please explain to us the title along with the specific selection of the photos you’re showcasing?
The title is just me having fun with the fact that these are all scenes that play out in everyday life and even though they seem surreal or wild one could, and probably have seen similar scenes. So I think the title is just saying “you already know this” or “this happens”, but in a more playful and sassy even pseudo-sophisticated way. The selection of images is really just me putting things on a wall and seeing what looks good and how the ideas and colors and everything flows. I just want it to be pure and have a good flow to it. Everything that happens after is up to the viewer.
- My favorite shots were the ones taken on the West Coast, where pastel and bright colors come together and evoke a sense of calm and space that I bet any New Yorker dreams once in a while. What’s your experience in taking photographs both in the West and East Coasts? Do you have different approaches for different places?
Actually, my approach is very similar in NY and the West Coast, or anywhere really. The only difference is I would usually drive to spots in LA but in NYC you don’t have to drive you can just fall out of your front door and have a photograph happen.
- Who has inspired you to start your photography journey and why they did so?
(British documentary photographer) Martian Parr.
- We all know that to start photography you need a camera and possibly a good eye. Would you add any other piece (gears, lighting equipment, editing software, etc.) or any other quality that could enhance your photography skills altogether?
Good question. I’m not a big believer in the gear. I think you can take amazing photographs with cheap cameras, cheap lenses. You don’t need a big setup. It’s all about the person and the point of view. But having said that I do love shooting on longer lenses. So that and a solid 35mm camera are my constant set up.