The photographer of Michael Geertsen’s ceramics is Robert Cass. He created an acid trip vision of these which seem utterly fantastical but the more you examine them side-by-side the more it tells us something deeper about the gloss and luster of these works.
Jason Jacques explains how his photography evolved in his New York gallery:
“I used to have an old Nikon F2 and I would shoot the pots on the concrete sidewalk in Paris or at the flea market or at my apartment, mostly with natural sunlight. I would run to the 1 hour photo to get prints and make extras of what I needed, put them in an envelope and lick on two stamps. Next I bought two lights, stands and a tripod and tried to make my photos look like Sotheby’s catalogs.
“Then my assistant Yoni Yosef came on board and for the next nine years he took over photography and took things to the next level where the photos were as luscious as the artworks. The high point of this was of course our book Exotica, which contains some of the best pottery photos I have ever seen thanks to Yoni.
“After Yoni moved on we started working with Robert Cass. Robert was doing all of the catalog shots. His style is harder and cooler than Yoni and he hated the auction house catalog backgrounds so we started building new props for the shoots like the old barn wood table we used for Gareth Mason, and we cut out the curved tabletops and brought back the horizon line.
“When we talked about the Geertsen show I told Robert that I wanted the photos to be pure sex, total Women’s fashion magazine beauty campaign style. Robert asked me how far he could go and we decided to push things to the next level and make pictures that really didn’t serve as documents of the actual objects but where the ceramics were the models working the camera to sell themselves.
“At the back of the book we showed traditional shots of each artwork so that people would know what the pieces actually looked like.”
Garth Clark is the Chief Editor of CFile.
Above image: Robert Cass’s photography of artist Michael Geertsen’s works on display at the Jason Jacques Gallery, New York.
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