Meet photographer Elizabeth Waterman – LA Weekly


Waterman’s photographic practice has always been oriented towards the portrait of interesting people in frank and intimate, even raw, but also elegant, editorial and at the same time journalistic and artistic works. Her striking depictions of artists and performers, especially in images exploring female sexuality, sex work, and the nature of obsession, are both theatrical and authentic. Waterman is currently launching his book, MONEY GAME (XYZ / Lisbon), featuring 75 color and black and white photographs of her five-year foray into the strip and sex work industry in New York City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Miami.

Elizabeth Waterman: Crazy Girls

LA WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?

ELIZABETH WATERMAN: At seventeen, with a disposable camera, I shot my first images of the streets of Chicago. These early black and white scrolls (developed at Walgreens) revealed images of a dark and poetic world. This is how I can tell my story, I thought. To finish. I never looked back.

What’s your short answer to people who ask you what your job is?

My goal is to capture the idiosyncratic moments of our moments, to show the world as I live it: imperfect, ambiguous and breathtaking.

What would you do if you weren’t an artist?

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Did you go to art school? Why why not?

I received my BA in Photography from USC and a Technical Diploma from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in western Massachusetts (which no longer exists). I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to school, but I have to say that all of my relevant internships and jobs over the years have been equally valuable.

Elizabeth Waterman: Deja vu

Why do you live and work in LA, and not elsewhere?

I love LA I’m happy here. It’s beautiful and sunny, over the top and fun. New York City was stressful and the Midwest is, well, cold. Both are good enough places to visit but not to experience.

When was your first show?

“The New God” was a series of black and white portraits of the New York art scene that I exhibited at the former Wallplay Gallery (in New York) in 2013. It was my first solo exhibition.

When is / was your current / most recent / next project?

i just published MONEY GAME, which is a book of photographs depicting the world of strippers in the United States. For four years, I’ve been captivated by capturing these sexy and talented women on 35mm film, and XYZ Books Lisbon has done an awesome job with the print. At the beginning of September, I will show prints of MONEY GAME in an ephemeral gallery in London!

Elizabeth Waterman: October 2017

Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to show?

My heroine is Susan Meiselas, a Magnum photographer who published groundbreaking work on strippers in the 1970s. I would be honored to show my work alongside his. And of course I would love to put on a show with my talented husband, photographer Michael Grecco. He has a brilliant body of retro-punk photos of Boston from the ’80s, taken on film, raw and elegant, that would show up brilliantly with my images.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?

When I turn and climb, I prefer silence. The experience of visual imagery consumes and satisfies me. But hey, if you want to play trance, I wouldn’t complain. Some Underworld or Leftfield or Morgan Page chill. What if I turn to strip clubs Future or French Montana, please.

Elizabeth Waterman: Crazy Girls

Website and social media handles, please!

elizabethwaterman.com

IG: @ elizabeth.waterman

Twitter: @eliz_waterman

FB: elizabeth1waterman



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