Friday, February 8, 2013

Joanna Pickering

photo: Anna Österlund
Joanna Pickering and Gustaf Heden for Ravishing Mad, photo: Anna Österlund

One of my favourite shoots all time was with British actress Joanna Pickering. She and her boyfriend came over to my place one windy afternoon and I had asked her "will you let me do anything I want?"  They were over here in Malmö for some weeks for the memorial concert of musician Gustaf Kjellvander and had some time off between work. Gustaf just tagged along and had no idea I wanted him in the pictures, as far as I understood he thought he'd play us I started painting both of them white. He was afraid he'd come across as some kind of a model gold-digger just "happening" to show on my doorstep in time for a shoot. Hahahha it was nothing like that at all, he was practically  forced into modelling that day!

Joanna Pickering for Ravishing Mad, photo Anna Österlund
 I painted them in the face, neck, some on the arms, clay in the hair, and then dressed them in my white Darwin collection. We took the car down to the abutment of the almost 8 km long bridge over to Copenhagen. The totally flat landscape, the dark sea, the lines of windmills, flat Denmark only seen on a clear day: it's grand and quite surreal and I love it. The clouds were amazingly dramatic and the air was sticky yet cold and electrified, a thunderstorm was coming in and we didn't have much time.

Photo: Anna Österlund
Joanna Pickering and Gustaf Heden, photo Anna Österlund

A few weeks earlier I had found an artwork standing by itself hidden and far away from the footpath. I tried to remember where it was and we ran around like madmen. On a sunny day it would have been much easier to spot. Full of angled mirrors it stood there proudly, looking down at the tossing sea.

Joanna got into it immediately and gave me exactly what I wanted in a matter of seconds. I didn't know her much back then, but I now know that she had been modelling for years before getting into acting. But she wasn't at all like other models I had met. She wasn't just standing there trying to look like a horny doll, she asked out loud what I wanted, had ideas and understood my anti-fashion. After I felt like I never wanted to work again unless my model was an actor!

Joanna took my instructions and made them her own, she was absolutely brilliant. Gustaf was kinda nervous he said, but kept calm. Suddenly she puts her arms around his shoulders as if she was protecting him, she held him silently in such an honest and intimate way, I remember little details like her fingers squeezing his arm. They held each other like that, calmly as if they were looking at the world going under. I think we shot for 20 minutes tops before the rain came and that wasn't even a problem, I had already taken the pictures I wanted. It must have been the quickest photo shoot I ever did!

One of the pictures was later printed in the oh so cool french urban fashion/culture magazine WAD.
See more of my photos and films here!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Like a long lost lover

When I was 13 and the world turned its back on vinyl and I was given my very first CD, it was a Jon Bon Jovi album. I absolutely loved it, but forgot all about him in a while...until I graduated at 19 and a good friend quoted him and wrote the words "You give love a bad name" inside my student hat. And now 15 years later I suddenly hear from him again like an old lover. Apparently he has opened a non-profit restaurant in Red Bank called Soul Kitchen, it's situated just south from NYC. The food is healthy and organic, you might be seated by someone you don't know and everyone is welcome: The menu has no prices, you pay what you can afford, you may even volunteer and get a voucher for a meal in return in case your back pocket is empty. This is so cool!