Punks, male strippers, juggalos, leather fetishists....
Alexis Gross is a photographer we love. Her images tell the story of unseen subcultures, of male strippers and family holidays to Italy. The images are united by their unflinching take on real life. The chaos of reality and the unusual characters that are airbrushed from everyday life both feature heavily in Alexis’ images. It’s instinctive photography in unusual locations, whether that’s the world’s largest leather festival or at an Insane Clown Posse gig.
We caught up with Alexis to discuss the links been subculture and photography and what she likes to take photographs of.
How would you describe you photography style?
The one constant that’s been in my photographs is the style. Always in the moment, always authentic, always genuine.
What kind of people do you like to shoot? Is there a pattern in your subjects?
The people I typically shoot will always have something special (in my opinion) about them. Over exaggerated or under appreciated. Misrepresented people. I’m always trying to show my subjects in a positive light which could be a pattern.
Your photography often focuses on alternative lifestyles – do you think there’s a healthy link between subculture and photography?
Subculture and photography go hand in hand. Photography keeps an accurate depiction although the images are always up for interpretation depending on the viewer. What’s not healthy for it is the popular phone application, Instagram. Instagram tends to allow people to curate something that isn’t an accurate depiction of alternative lifestyles. Its just based on whatever they find they like from cultures being appropriated without understanding the dynamics.
Can you tell us about one image that has had a really strong impact on you?
An image that truly had a strong impact on me was one I grabbed of Jeff Goldblum outside of Lovely Day 4 years ago. He happened to be sitting next to my table and kept chiming in on my conversation. As he was leaving, I asked casually if I could grab a photo. That’s when I realized the power of a camera as social tool.
What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen recently?
The most beautiful thing I’ve seen recently is Trader Joe’s. After having poor food options in Cuba for a week, I’d never think that I would be so thrilled to walk into a supermarket again.
Follow Alexis on Instagram here.
14 May 2019