Owen McCarter Interview - The Hopper Prize

Owen McCarter

Owen McCarter on early interests in photography, experimenting with filmmaking, and collaborating with close friends.

How did you get into making art?

I was unschooled as a child and grew up in the forest around my parents house. We didn’t have functioning internet or television so I spent most of my time catching Garter snakes, starting fires, and waging war with my two siblings.

I became interested in photography as a means of documenting experiences, but over time the influence of my childhood has crept in and with it the strange and imaginary.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to my photographic practice I’ve been experimenting with filmmaking. Three of my closest friends and I are making a surrealist horror short about paranormal activity and the violence of gaze. The process was an absolute mess and the most fun I’ve had making art in years. It’s titled, The Seeing Field, and will hopefully premiere this coming fall.

I spend most of my time developing, scanning, editing, printing and sequencing photographs.

Owen McCarter

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I make projects, that are very distinctive in my mind and in the beginning maybe thats true. Even when I’ve planned and researched something it is always subject to change. Things start to blend together and new things come up. I try not to let my process become too proscriptive.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I spend most of my time developing, scanning, editing, printing and sequencing photographs. If I’m making new work things get a little more chaotic. I could be in a swamp burying negatives or trying to get the porcupine that lives behind my house to stand still for a portrait.

Who are your favorite artists?

Rosalind Fox Solomon, Susan Lipper, Ingmar Bergman, Sally Mann, Jeff Whetstone, all the kids in Wendy Ewald’s Portraits and Dreams. Most of all my friends and family. I wouldn’t be an artist without all the wonderful people around me.

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