Turning absolute normalcy into a scene full of intrigue is a definite skill in photography and it’s one that New York City-based photographer Tim Schutsky has in buckets. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, we’ve long admired the astute and nuanced style prevalent throughout his portfolio, and the way he turns a snow globe, a lawnmower, or a pair of scuffed-up trainers into something worth a second glance.
In the past few years since we last wrote about Tim, he’s been working on commission after commission, while dedicating as much time as possible to personal work. “Personal” has perhaps never been a more apt word to describe the non-commercial work of a creative, as much of Tim’s “journal” sees him documenting his day-to-day life.
When asked how he’s been spending his time, he responds: “Soaking in bathhouses, doing yoga, travelling, as well as not leaving my neighbourhood in Brooklyn. Making pictures however and whenever I can.” It’s an approach which is evident in Tim’s work; the very mundanity of his observations is what makes them so interesting. Tim’s eye means he notices the serendipitous strangeness in how a collection of objects compose themselves on a table, or the shadow snaking over the cracked concrete of a house. They’re moments that others would overlook but that, in turn, make for fascinating photographic work, imbued with a sense of observational calm.
Although to us, it seems that Tim’s style has only continued to grow, he explains that his approach has changed significantly. “At one point I was collaborating on projects often, but I’m not doing this anymore. It was important and I’m happy I was able to work in that capacity, though it did strain some relationships and potentially end some as well, which can be hard to grapple with.”
Rather poetically, however, he continues: “What I did take away from that was the sense of how to work collaboratively, and how exciting that can be. It’s like a motor, I’m one piston, having another piston to work with sort of gives something more power sometimes. An assignment is like a spark plug, it ignites the motivation to make pictures, maybe time and money are air and gas, I’m not sure which one is what but in the end, getting to work together with an editor who is on the same vibe as me could potentially be like a well-working machine.”
With his new-found confidence in producing work off his own back, and with the understanding of how important and inspiring collaboration can be, we can’t wait to see what apparently-uninteresting thing Tim turns his lens on next.
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