From the hip photographerBrian Fincke chats to Wonderland about his new book, “Construction” – which took him to building site mazes across New York City over a two and a half year stretch.
When do you feel you started taking photography seriously?
It seems like photography has always been in my life, ever since photo classes in school when I was 12 years old. That led to art school and brought me to NYC when I was 18. I’ve always wanted to tell stories; to push the boundaries of documentary photography, the reality of the every day is such great material.
What photographers, dead or alive, would you say inform your style the most?
W. Eugen Smith was the first photographer’s work that blew me away, the signature style, powerful subject matter and passion for his photography were all very moving when I discovered his work at a young age… Now I am influenced my friend’s work, photograhers such as Michael Schmelling, his Atlantic book is amazing… Darin Mickey, Mark Mahaney, Guido Vitti, the list could go on and on, all passionate photographers with their own voices.
How long was “Construction” in the making? Where is it set?
I photographed “Construction” over a two and a half year period in the NYC area. A lot of the time it was showing up at job sites and simply looking around. I know I’m not making it sound too thrilling, but it is the reality of being there. It was a different process: instead of all this activity unfolding in front of me, as is expected, it was mostly exploring around these jobs sites and searching, and a lot of the time not finding anything at all but then coming back another day or week and seeing the site completely changed; some giant new steel structure to climb around.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a project about the U.S. Marshals, about how we police ourselves. Been photographing them capturing escape convicts, running sex offender round ups, warrant weeks, basically it’s my own version of the TV show Cops.
“Construction is out in September.
Words: Jack Mills