#143: Brian Karlsson
Photographer Brian Karlsson on Slacker (1991), "Ray’s a Laugh" Photobook, "Solopsist", and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Brian Karlsson to share some recommendations on Perfectly Imperfect.
Brian Karlsson is one of my favorite New York City-based street photographers. Back in November, his photos were in a beautiful cloth-bound hardcover book of photographs for They Might Be Giants. It’s a lovely collection of photos with 10% of the net profits from all sales of BOOK through New Year's will go to The Immigrant Learning Center. Brian has great taste and lucky for us, he’s here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
This is my favorite book of all time. I have read it at least once a year since I first discovered it, which was by stumbling across this quote:
“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
👁 📽 Slacker (1991)
A talkative taxi passenger, a UFO buff who insists the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a JFK conspiracy theorist, an elderly anarchist who befriends a man trying to rob his house, a television set collector, and a hipster woman trying to sell a Madonna pap smear. (taken from Wikipedia)
Slacker is a movie unlike any others that I’ve seen, following the various characters within for no more than a few minutes each before seamlessly cycling to the next. Every few minutes you realize how far removed you are from where you’d just been before, and it’s incredible. The whole movie is available for free on YouTube, linked above.
This album by Reanimator (not to be confused with Re-Animator, which is a British thrash metal band that for some reason shares the same artist page on Spotify) is a beautifully produced, sample-heavy instrumental record that I’ve listened to countless times. I highly recommend listening to it straight through, in order.
🔎📸: Ray’s a Laugh
This is a photobook by Richard Billingham, and one of my favorites. It’s a very raw documentation of his family, and I find the brutal honesty of the photographs to be very compelling. There are a whole host of videos on YouTube of people flipping through the book since it is expensive and relatively hard to find, but the one I linked above is the best, despite misspelling his last name as “Bellingham”.
❓ 📞 Solopsist
Watch every single video. Start with the latest and binge, but I recommend starting with the first posted and working chronologically.
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