25 episodes

Photo Director Gem Fletcher hosts The Messy Truth, a podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography featuring exclusive interviews with emerging and leading artists, curators and critics. Listen in to these candid conversations that unpack photography and why it connects us all in such transformational ways. Follow Gem’s Instagram @gemfletcher for images of photographs discussed in each episode.

The Messy Truth Gem Fletcher

    • Visual Arts
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Photo Director Gem Fletcher hosts The Messy Truth, a podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography featuring exclusive interviews with emerging and leading artists, curators and critics. Listen in to these candid conversations that unpack photography and why it connects us all in such transformational ways. Follow Gem’s Instagram @gemfletcher for images of photographs discussed in each episode.

    David Brandon Geeting - On Process

    David Brandon Geeting - On Process

     
    Recorded remotely on 4th September 2020, Gem chats to photographer David Brandon Geeting, a photographer renown for his disruptive approach to still life and visual aesthetics. Masterfully playing with ideas of taste, worth, reality and truth, David challenges our expectations of photography, especially those within the commercial and editorial space. David's 2019 monograph Neighbourhood Stroll is a collection of photographs taken outside in his neighbourhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Void of humans, the work dissects what they’ve left behind, and feels more post-apocalyptic than it does present-day. His work has been published in two other monographs including Infinite Power (2015), a whimsical compilation of imagery that he describes as ‘a collection of nothing’, and 2016’s S.K.N.P (South Korean Nature Photography), which sees him investigating relationships between the natural and urban.


    In this Conversation, David shares his journey in the industry so far, from how he got started and discovered an interest in objects to how he protects his authorship while working commercially. We talk about the space between intention and intuition and how he navigates both external and personal pressure. We reflect upon his monograph Neighbourhood Stroll and how the work channels new ideas in the light of the events of 2020. David reflects upon the epic shifts of 2020 and how they have impacted how he wants to create work in the future.


    Follow David on Instagram @davidbrandongeeting on Instagram and visit dbg.nyc to see his work. David is represented by East. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
     
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    • 48 min
    Dr Jennifer Good - On Ethics

    Dr Jennifer Good - On Ethics

    Recorded remotely on 7th September 2020, Gem Fletcher chats to Dr Jennifer Good, writer, researcher and educator. Known for her fascinating research on the relationship between photography and trauma. She has written several books and writes for a variety of photography magazines and journals. As the Joint Course Leader on the BA & MA Photojournalism and Documentary course at the London College of Communication, Jen works closely with students on discovering and honing personal ethics through deeply interrogating their own views, politics and experiences, both conscious and subconscious which then in turn informs the work they make.


    In this conversation, Jennifer talks about her reflections on what photography is and how it functions in the modern world. We talk about her career path, her research practice and how her study of photography and trauma has evolved. We explore her role as an educator and the work she is doing with student to support a decolonisation of their practice. We talk about visual literacy, ethics, the falsehood of objectivity, and how we all inherit the history of the violence of the camera.


    Follow Jennifer on Instagram @jenjgood on Instagram. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com.
     
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    • 48 min
    Carmen Winant - On Liberation

    Carmen Winant - On Liberation

    Recorded remotely on 26th July 2020, Gem Fletcher chats with renowned artist, writer and educator Carmen Winant. Her expansive art practice uses text and image to question the patriarchal framework that surrounds women’s bodies. She confronts, unveils and reimagines within her practice to empower agency and liberation. Through the collection and aggregation of found imagery, she examines the limitations of photography to transmute the human experience in all its complexity. My birth, her renowned work that constitutes 2000 images from books, pamphlets and magazines about birth was selected for MOMA's New Photography exhibition in 2018. Carmen also published an evolution of the project in book form with SPBH.
     
    In this conversation, Carmen shares the evolution of her art practice and the challenges she faced defining her work methodologies outside the expectations and traditions of the art world. We talk about how she pivoted away from taking photographs to building worlds using specific and nuanced found imagery. We discuss ways of working and how Carmen seeks to collapse the space between the process and the final product. She takes us behind the scenes on her latest book ‘Notes on Fundamental Joy; seeking the elimination of oppression through the social and political transformation of the patriarchy that otherwise threatens to bury us’. The project is an experimental work that sits at the cross-section of an artists' project and historical document, drawing from archival images borne out of the Ovulars, a series of darkroom/photography workshops held in various feminist & lesbian separatist communes of the early 80s across the Pacific Northwest. We talk about radical optimism, feminism and the psychological and physical act of art-making.
     
    Follow Carmen on Instagram @carmen.winant on Instagram and visit carmenwinant.com to see her work. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com.
     
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Christopher Anderson - On Evolution

    Christopher Anderson - On Evolution

     
    Recorded remotely on 24th April 2020 during lockdown, Gem chats to renowned photographer Christopher Anderson, who continues to have a fascinating journey through the industry. He’s created world-renowned photojournalism, some of the most disarming magazine covers of the last two decades as well as a series of fascinating photo books about a range of different subjects from his children to documenting the NYPD in the wake of 9/11. He first gained recognition for his pictures in 1999 when he boarded a handmade, wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America. The boat named the Believe In God, sank in the Caribbean. In 2000 the images from that journey would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal.


    In this conversation, Christopher shares his unexpected and organic journey into photography and his constant search for meaning. We talk about how his career evolved and how he crafts and refines his visual language. We discuss how he approaches portraiture, and it's complex power dynamics. He shares personal insight into sittings with Barack Obama and Donald Trump. We learn about his ethos about picture-making and how he uses photography as a tool to understand the world better. We discuss how he doesn't describe a scene, but instead tries to capture emotional energy exploring what it felt like to be there in that moment. We talk about his new book Pia published by Stanley Barker about his daughter and the process of creating and editing such profoundly personal work. We talk about social media, what it means to him and the highs and lows of the tool itself. We talk about slow photography and the importance of photographers building a body of work.
     
    Follow Christopher on Instagram @christopherandersonphoto on Instagram and visit christopherandersonphoto.com to see his work. Christopher is a member of Magnum Photos. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
     
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Alec Soth - On Portraiture

    Alec Soth - On Portraiture

    Recorded remotely on 9th April 2020 during lockdown, Gem chats to renowned photographer Alec Soth, best known for his iconic work Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004). A series of 47 images of people and places which evolved from road trips along the Mississippi River. The project brings together Alec’s documentary style and poetic sensibility capturing the spirit of the community he encountered. 16 years on and he is one of the most celebrated image-makers of our time. He went on to publish over twenty-five books including NIAGARA (2006), Broken Manual (2010), Songbook (2015) and I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating (2019). He has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010) and Media Space in London (2015). He also created Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling.
     
    In this conversation, Alec shares his thoughts on his recent body of work I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating (2019), and how his approach to these photographs was a dramatic shift away from the narrative based work he is known for. He shares the motivations behind this work, how he worked and how he feels about it now. We discuss character; working with subjects and the complicated power dynamics at play in portraiture. We learn about his experience creating editorial work and how that sits within his wider practice. We talk about experimentation, the influence of language and why hotel rooms are such profound spaces in his creative process.
     
    Follow Alec on Instagram @littlebrownmushroom on Instagram and visit alecsoth.com to see his work. Alec is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Hammons Gallery in Minneapolis, Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, Loock Galerie in Berlin, and is a member of Magnum Photos. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 47 min
    Shaniqwa Jarvis - On Storytelling

    Shaniqwa Jarvis - On Storytelling

    Recorded remotely on 31st May 2020 during lockdown, Gem chats to leading photographer and artist Shaniqwa Jarvis, best known for her fusion of modern fashion aesthetics with sensitive and emotional portraiture. Her approach captures vivid reality across a wide range of subjects, each frame imbued with profound optimism. 


    In this conversation, we explore how Shaniqwa found photography, how she entered the creative industry at the turn of the century and all she had to overcome to be the iconic artist she is today. She pressed on through an industry that still to this day is rife with systemic racism and sexism, creating space, not only for herself but for the next generation. She brings focus to the institutional changes urgently needed to ensure the value and worth of new Black and Brown photographers remains intact. She asks, "If there is no worth put on black lives, so how in turn is there suppose to be worth on black art?” We learn about Social Studies, the mentoring program she co-founded for Black and Brown photographers that connects youth communities to creators through curated programming. We explore her collaborations with brands like Adidas, SNS, The Standard Hotels Group and Supreme and what this aspect of her practice means to her. We find out about her sold out self-titled monograph, which documents two decades of her practice and how it shifted the perception and awareness of her work on a global scale. We discuss her joy of collaboration, why portraiture is such a deeply personal endeavour for her and hear about her recent shoot with Erykah Badu.


    Follow @sheekswinsalways on Instagram and visit shaniqwajarvis.com to see her wider portfolio. Shaniqwa is represented by IMG Lens. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram and Twitter. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email hello@gemfletcher.com
     
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Mehrijk ,

Great podcast

Great podcast. I have reached it recently and try to listen all previous episodes
Thank you Gem

KXXBK ,

Wonderful

Gem is generous, insightful and empathetic interviewer and she speaks with talented, thoughtful photographers and image makers with diverse backgrounds, fields of practice and experiences. The conversations are wonderful, and it’s a pleasure to listen to them.

melizenob ,

SO much GOLD in these episodes!!!

If you’re a photographer, especially if you’re trying to get yourself out there, and NOT listening to this podcast you’re missing out!! I’m so grateful for these episodes. You literally feel like a fly on the wall during the conversations you wish you could have with some of the industry’s finest—from the struggles they’ve faced during their careers, their motivations and processes and the nitty gritty on the industry; it’s just a wealth of information that’s truly priceless in my opinion. Thank you Gem, I’m a fan!

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