Sometime last year, Brad Pitt began giving a lot of thought to unhappy marriages.
The actor was in Los Angeles filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Doug Liman’s thriller about a glamorous husband and wife who are secretly hired to assassinate each other. While the movie uses domestic ennui as a backdrop for a series of high-style action sequences, Pitt wanted to tell a darker, truer tale, one that explored the “unidentifiable malaise” that so often haunts a seemingly happy couple. “You don’t know what’s wrong,” he says, “because the marriage is everything you signed up for.”
That was the inspiration for this photo shoot, which Pitt created with photographer Steven Klein. Tired of celebrity portraiture and always up for an artistic “jam sesh,” as he calls it, Pitt (who’d teamed with Klein and W in 1998 for an equally risqué layout, inspired by the film Fight club) essentially codirected the photo series, while starring in it alongside his Mr. and Mrs. Smith costar and purported new love, Angelina Jolie. He opted to set it in 1963 (the year he was born), a time when the last traces of the squeaky-clean Fifties were giving way to something more complicated. “The facade was still being maintained,” he says, “but things were starting to crumble underneath.”
→the idea of recreating, developing, re-living or repeating has always been fascinating to me. acting, being seen as someone else, portraying an unsasitifying way of life or exploring how I would live if I stepped back in time 60 years, is how I see, think & process.
→most of what I have created in art through my college years have been about me or my thoughts. I am the quiet underlying provoker or questioner. family and relationships string my work together. I have incoporated concepts of love, loss, fear, and hope into my photographs. I have realized I don’t need words to get my emotions across and I have used my images as my voice in “this” conversation. I have found a unique beauty in this exchange & will continue.
→I am unsure where I am headed but would still like to dig deeper in to these ideas I have of “the set up”. the issue I run into the most is finding the actor or actress to fill the starring roles. which in the end- ends up being me. is that good? bad? I’m not sure. it just is.
→I am also interested at the moment in glass plate negatives & old to very old images. this history & space in time keeps me curious. I am planning on printing more than shooting, but alas- things may change. I also want to incoporate my small collection of minatures I have been slowly collecting.
→for my first few weeks back, I want to embrace the weather and try to do as much shooting as the weather permits. I would like to use a variety of formats- digital, black & white, color, 35mm & medium format film. shooting- will consisit of set ups, portraits, possibly working with sihouettes. I am a color lover, but want to see how I can make black & white pop.