At Water, Los Angeles: an interview with Nathanael Turner

Nathanael Turner, from At Water, Los Angeles

I have a new post up on Paper Journal this morning, a really exciting interview with Los Angeles-based photographer Nathanael Turner. I spoke to him about his bi-costal influences, photo book publishing, and his method of capturing intimate yet abstract portraits of people in everyday situations.

From At Water, Los Angeles

The piece coincides with the opening of the NY Art Book Fair 2013 today at MoMA’s PS1 over in Queens. This is the eighth-annual Art Book Fair, the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines. Turner’s newest work, At Water, Los Angeles, is getting exhibited at this year’s fair with the rest of Fourteen-Nineteen’s books, zines, and periodicals. Here’s an excerpt of our interview:

What drew you to the idea of publishing your work in book form?

For this project, it all stemmed from Fourteen-Nineteen’s interest in collaborating on a book with me. I proposed a few ideas and one turned into At Water, Los Angeles. In general though, books have always made a lot of sense to me. Most of us have been experiencing books since before we could speak. My own work, most often, takes place within a narrative, so it lends itself to that structure. The book form also forces the viewer to engage in the work in a fairly systematic way. The images in At Water, for example, were made with very little structure, so the book creates an organized, linear composition of the images.

Do you think there’s importance to the fact that your new book focuses on LA and the west coast, but is being exhibited at the New York Art Book Fair and is printed by a London-based publisher? What do you think of the globalisation of contemporary photography as it applies to your own work and to the field as a whole?

It’s exciting. I’ve been able to work with amazingly talented people from several different cities around the world, and I’m not sure those opportunities would have been possible a short time ago.

You can read more about the NY Art Book Fair at their website. If you’re over in New York this weekend, be sure to check it out and grab some books!