Andrew Zuckerman

Posted: September 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: no blah blah: one artist | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I am interested in singular themes that have universal interest, mainly relating to the human experience
Andrew Zuckerman

about directing
‘I started making pictures as a teenager in Washington DC shooting bands, which gave me access to situations that 14 years old don’t always have. I came to New York for the summers and lived with my sister while working at the International Center of Photography cleaning the darkrooms in exchange for printing time- all the while shooting music people in NYC. At 18 I enrolled at SVA and made short films, sculptures and pictures. I took a break from film after art school and opened a studio focusing completely on photography. I did lots of magazine work and ads.’


about Vogue
My first job was working for Vogue. I would shoot still lifes of bags and shoes. The Vogue art directors were really specific. We had to have a perfectly white background and it had to be beautifully done. I worked out of an old pre-war apartment on 46th Street. A fantastic photographer I assisted gave me a set of lights to start with. They were really old Speedotron piggyback systems. I didn’t have enough power in my apartment so I had to run cords out of the windows into my neighbors’ apartments and pay their electric bills. I had a totally jerry rigged system. Thank god no one from Vogue ever actually came to my studio! I was shooting like 8 products a day for Vogue and other magazines. I basically spent a year doing still lifes, which I had never intended on doing. It taught me how to light and be efficient and work on my own. I never worked with an assistant. It was just me alone in my apartment‘.


about Puma – the Fairy Godcompany
Puma allowed me to experiment with film after I did a successful print campaign for them. I made some spec spots to show them that what we were doing could work well on TV. They liked them and commissioned three. Now two years later we have made 27 spots together‘.

about commercials
The challenge of telling a story in such a short period of time sharpens one’s visual and narrative convictions. The commercial world is filled with immense talent and resources that are all looking to create something entirely new. Rigor is an ethic that making commercials requires and I like that‘.

about the Wisdom project shooting


By democratizing the space – shooting all on white – I was able to put all the subjects on a neutral field for the portraits – which served to strip away issues that come with environment and created a cohesive humanistic thread throughout. The white essentially transported them all to the same room. There was no variance in the setup or the equipment – aside from the Mandela shoot which we used kinos for due to an issue he has with excessive light. The shoot consisted of a two camera HD video setup as well as the still shoot so we developed a transformable set from still to motion. In the book I actually included a grid of the equipment used to illustrate the gift technology has provided us in modern times. 20 years ago it would have been nearly impossible to create this project with the same quality and efficiency‘.

about the expansion series


The featured image is an egg being pierced. It is part of a larger body of work exploring the Big Bang theory. Zuckerman used a piece of equipment often used in high-speed photography called The Time Machine to create an interface between his camera, strobe and a microphone mounted to the top of his pellet gun. The reason for the low power setting was to get the highest flash duration, in this case around 1/6000th of a second, in order to properly freeze the motion of the balloon bursting. He used a Hasselblad H2 with a Leaf Aptus 75S digital back and a 120mm lens. Once everything was in place he would pull the trigger of the gun and The Time Machine, hooked up to a microphone mounted on the gun and a pocket wizard connected to the camera and the single strobe, would then do all the work. The sound of the gun is actually what takes the image. The gun was 5 feet away from the balloon and the pellet was travelling at a 1000ft/sec so it was mostly just math and “a lot of trial and error“.



Andrew Zuckerman, Creature, Chronicle Books, 2007
a portrait series of animals

Andrew Zuckerman, Wisdom, Abrams; Har/DVD edition, 2008
an account of the portraits and thoughts of famous elders: Vanessa Redgrave, Clint Eastwood, Nelson Mandela…

Andrew Zuckerman, Birds, Chronicle Books, 2009
a visual study of birds from the rarest to the most common