• Jg-bobby-jean-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Bobby Jean

  • Jg-bobby-jean-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Bobby Jean

  • Jg-candy-fs

    Jenny & Lee:Candy

  • Jg-candy-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee:Candy

  • Jg-kitty-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Kitty

  • Jg-kitty-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Kitty

  • Jg-mary-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Mary

  • Jg-mary-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Mary

  • Jg-rosalita-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Rosalita

  • Jg-rosalita-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Rosalita

  • Jg-sherry-2-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Sherry

  • Jg-sherry-sl-fs

    Jenny & Lee: Sherry

Photography

Jenny & Lee: Jersey Girls

Posted by Rob Alderson,

As cool nicknames go, The Boss is about as good as it gets, and only a singer as iconic as Bruce Springsteen could really pull it off. Now two London-based photographers, Jenny & Lee, have taken his songs and put together a series of portraits based on the girls he sings about with his trademark cocktail of love, lust and loneliness. It’s the American Dream examined from a once-removed British perspective and the powerful pictures are testament to the talents of the artists and The Boss himself. We spoke to the photographers to find out more.

Where did the inspiration for this project come from?

From the songs of Bruce Springsteen and the particular way he manages to portray a subject, sketched-out in detail within its landscape.  The dream of America that is reflected in the characters and their narratives within these songs, is inspiring for a generation nurtured on American popular culture.

How difficult was it finding the right models to fit these iconic song characters?

We deliberately cast young models through agencies who were not so experienced and conditioned by the industry.  Together with a stylist, Karin Peterson, we analysed the songs to draw out the specific traits of each character and we worked hard to find girls that matched these characters from their appearances and characteristics.

What is it about Springsteen that resonates still so much with people do you think?

Springsteen represents both the the dream of America and its betrayal and corruption.  His impassioned narratives convey the complex dichotomy of celebration and disappointment that is the reality of this dream.  For us, he is a folk singer who aestheticises this reality into a digestible and seductive form. 

What are you working on next?

We are currently working on several projects including a dystopian portrayal of London and one that merges the aesthetics of Britney Spears and Laura Palmer.

There’s also a cool film which you can see here.

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Harrymitchell-itsnicethat-main

    There was a time a year or two ago when we were inundated with hazy, throwaway-camera shots of far off places and short-lived holidays. Nothing wrong with that sort of thing, but we’re definitely receiving less. When Harry Mitchell submitted his work the other day I thought this was going to be another one of those projects born out of a gap year, a cheap camera and some long-limbed friends. Turns out I was totally wrong. Harry’s documentation of India is absolutely mesmerising, highlighting the cluttered corners, particle-thick light, chaos, street signs and throngs of people. His series for menswear brand Neuba sees him stepping into an Indian tailor’s and snapping the archaic wooden machinery and cheerful, dusty faces of the workers with a quiet respect to their craft. Just when you start thinking Harry’s a one-trick pony you then stumble across his editorial portfolio and realise that his style is constantly undulating from ultra sharp to mega lo-fi, always remaining very, very cool.

  2. Aleccastillo-itsnicethat-main

    Groups of teenagers tend to gravitate towards big expanses of open parkland and grassy knolls. I used to, even when my hay fever was so bad I used to wear swimming goggles to protect my eyes from the pollen. Maybe it’s the adventurous feeling you get when you’re out in the wild, and how totally different it is to life in the small box containing your parents that is your home. Alec Castillo emailed a few days ago with these black and white medium format photographs of him and his friends seemingly doing whatever possible to not veg around in a house.

  3. List

    When you’re best-known for following LCD Soundsystem around on tour it must be a relief to shake off the screaming mayhem of rock’n’roll life on the road and focus your energies on a project that’s slower. Ruvan Wijesooriya has felt that relief in his latest work, trading pop music in the USA for education in Afghanistan. Yearbook: Afghanistan follows a journey Ruvan made to Kabul, where he immersed himself in life at the Roots of Peace School, photographing pupils and teachers as they went about their daily business. He also gave disposable cameras to the people he encountered, encouraging them to document themselves at home and in the classroom.

  4. Hana-knizova-itsnicethat-list

    I know I’m not alone in my deep-rooted fascination with twins, identical or otherwise, and Czech-born, London-based photographer Hana Knizova is just one of many to help me indulge it. Her series Family Matters features ten pairs of womb-sharing siblings, shrouded in like-minded mystery and wearing similar attire, and draws upon aspects of their relationship in carefully composed and almost classical portraits. They’re beguiling and somewhat mystical to look it. 

  5. Itsnicethat-listfreunde-von-freunden-erik-spiekermann-0697
    “Someone made a map of at least 600 people in Berlin who have worked with me at some time,” Erik Spiekermann tells Freunde von Freunden. “It just means that I am old.”
  6. Ditto-gllts-itsnicethat-list

    In Iron Fist Magazine editor Louise Brown’s brilliantly written foreword to God Listens to Slayer, she compares heavy metal music to religion, and the journey from fandom to concert hall to a spiritual pilgrimage. “In the last British census, heavy metal defeated Scientology when 6,242 people claimed to follow it religiously,” Louise explains. “It was official: following Slayer to the ends of the earth was confirmed as a form of worship. But we who live and breathe heavy metal already knew that.”

  7. Hero-drivers-in-the-80s--chris-dorley-brown-its-nice-that-fat-woman-blue

    It’s a strange thing to see the more banal aspects of life from the year you were born: the traffic jams, the boredom, the waiting about on buses. We only usually look back on the beautiful, newsworthy, interesting things of the 1980s – the Debbie Harrys and Cyndi Laupers and miners’ strikes and famines – all of which are fascinating and need to be remembered, but looking at the everyday aspects of life is equally interesting in a different way. That’s why Chris Dorley-Brown’s photographic series Drivers in the 1980s is so alluring: it does just what you’d expect, presenting people through the windows of their car doors (and the odd bus) in and around east London in the mid ’80s. As a person born in ’86 and now living in east London, there’s a very personal fascination for me when looking at the images, imagining what my mum would have looked like all permed and large-spectacled and cursing roadworks. There’s something so charming in this elevation of ennui to art, with all the normality of the scenarios and the feeling of nostalgia for a time I can’t really remember.

  8. Matthnry-thetrip-itsnicethat-list

    In the autumn issue of our Printed Pages magazine I wrote an essay about Americana and its enduring influence on British creatives. One of the people I interviewed was photographer Matt Henry, whose work has often focussed on retro symbols of 1960s and 70s America and the power with which we imbue them. His latest work takes that addiction (forged on TV shows like The A-Team and The Dukes of Hazzard) and uses it to create something of an altogether more ambitious magnitude.

  9. Amylombard-kidz-bop-itsnicethat-list

    The last time we featured Amy Lombard on It’s Nice That, it was her photographs of pet animals preened and packaged for an animal show in the USA that we were babbling over. This time around it’s the Brooklyn-based documentary photographer’s new series about the Kidz Bop phenomenon sweeping the US that we’re gushing over, and if it seems like a sizeable gap between the two subjects, then it’s an appropriate reflection of the breadth of her work.

  10. Tine-bek-barok-itsnicethat-list-10susan_on_bed

    Glasgow-based, Denmark-born photographer Tine Bek has taken the idea of the Baroque and spun it out to explore some pretty big concepts: nature, domesticity and the representation of the female body to name but a few. His series Barok is formed of numerous individual images which when isolated don’t seem to have to much to do with Baroque and all its drama and grandiosity; but together they form a strange narrative and take on a whole new feel. “Baroque is the main inspiration, not just as a period within architecture or art, but more so as an expression of a certain philosophy,” explains Tine. “The overall themes [are]… the balance between illusion and reality, light and dark and time and space.

  11. Coverwarren-du-preez-_-nick-thornton-jones-creative-review-annual-itsnicethat.list

    The cover of this year’s Creative Review annual has been unveiled, and it’s a depiction of a supermodel unlike any other – transforming Daria Werbowy into an eerie, ethereal, coral-like form. The cover was shot by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, who created the image with the help of floral sculptures by flower artist Rebecca Louise Law, prop-makers FBFX and VFX studio Analog. As with previous years’ covers, the picture forms a somewhat abstract “A.” Former designers, who also created an “A”-based image for the cover, include Morag Myerscough and Minivegas.

  12. Stevewinter-lalion-itsnicethat-list

    Patience can be a virtue in photography, as Steve Winter knows. It took the American wildlife photographer 15 months to get the shot he craved; a mountain lion that lives in a Los Angeles park walking in front of the Hollywood sign. When he did finally manage it, he admits he was a little disappointed by the lighting, but that’s how perfectionists are and perfectionism can be tricky when working with subjects as unpredictable as big cats.

  13. Itsnice-that-hero-punchdrunk-and-julian-abrams-publish-new-book-of-photography-of-the-drowned-man4-photo-by-julian-abrams

    As Hollywood stars and wounded lovers flew around me, I found myself strolling around a sandy expanse, playing on a rickety old piano, sipping from a hidden whisky bottle and finally being pushed against a wall as someone whispered “you’re wonderful” into my ear. It’s safe to say a night at a Punchdrunk production is as disorientating as it is thrilling. The theatre company’s The Drowned Man, which ran for a year from 2013, was utterly exhilarating, breathtakingly complex and stunningly beautiful. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but lordy it was impressive. However, the visceral, immersive nature of the whole thing makes it damn hard to convey in two dimensions; though this new photo book of images shot by Julian Abrams comes pretty close. From a steamy tryst to a poignant pair of red shoes, the drama, the emotion and the sense that you can never truly piece together the full story of the production are communicated brilliantly. If it could whisper affirmations into our ears, it’d be just about spot on.