Oregon photographer Jamie Knowlton primarily captures the nude body. Often closely cropped, surrounded by nature, covered in dirt, cum, or even doing a basketball dunk, Knowlton’s work doesn’t figure the body as precious, soft-lit or romantic in any sense. Nor does it feel rock-and-roll, that Vice-style imagery of a “cool” naked house party body. It’s just simply the naked human body, de-sexualized, almost presented as an object. Often photographing people she’s never met before, these vulnerable, spontaneous nude portraits are interesting to me; I was happy to find her amongst our submissions. – CM
1. How would you describe your photos?
A reclamation of the body as new object, still life, and point of political protest. I am drawn to the relationship between objects, the dynamic interstitial space that two objects create, bounce and dwell in. The images are interpretable and can be viewed as activism, erotic exploration, spatial aesthetic, etc. Like a lot of photographers, I enjoy simply capturing special moments of light.
2. Do you carry your camera with you everywhere you go?
For me taking pictures is kind of a practice, a daily way of entering a view of the world. There’s the kooky guy, Chogyam Trunpga, who photographed as more of a hobby. He said something like, photography was a very dynamic form of meditation. Always bringing your self to look around and observe your visual surroundings. You can do this anytime without anything. To answer simply, I bring some camera with me at all times. I don’t always use it. A mobile phone is one of my tools. Film cameras I’m starting to save for specific shoots. I’ve lost so many to sand and rain, tossing them around somewhere.
3. What celebrity would you like to shoot most?
Beyoncé. tbh. Virginia Woolf, if this is a time travel situation.
4. What animal would you like to be, if not a human?
I don’t think a person could be just one animal. But I would say, albino alligator. That’s what I was for Halloween last year, huge cardboard box head with pink eyes wandering around and bumping into folks. No one got it.
5. What’s your current obsession?
Bondage chokers. Permanent obsession? Plants
6. Would you like to live forever?
On this planet? No.
7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To not wait like ten years to go to the dentist.
8. What do you do in your spare time?
Lots of different stuff, don’t wanna bore you with details. When it’s nice, it’s impulsive, I have to be outside.
9. Do you like having your photo taken?
I don’t think I’m photogenic in a general sense. My face has a lot of hard angles. I’m also of a belief anyone is photogenic. So I try and hold both. It depends on who’s taking the photograph, but in general–no, I’m shy.
10. Which photographers do you like right now?
I was taking photographs, doing my thing in Denver. There was artistic support, but I still felt a little isolated. I discovered @agvstin and Ashley Sophia Clark on Instagram. I very much admire their work and felt a kinship when I first saw it. I hadn’t realized they lived in Portland until I moved here, so that’s something. The situations they invent are just remarkable. I always toss out @thefemmepride, really beautiful portraiture on that one. Kostis Fokas for the close-ups. Audrey Wollen for her selfies. She’s taking a break from the web right now, but her old feed is worth diving into. Lula Hyers, for giving me hope for the future.
© 2019 The Editorial Magazine