#160: Chris Maggio
Chris Maggio drops in to tell us about the "The Mirage Factory", BBC's Naked Attraction, Generic Black Hoodies, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Chris Maggio to share some recommendations on Perfectly Imperfect.
Chris Maggio is a photographer living in New York City whose work is a mix of street photography documenting the dark humor of American life and really cool studio stuff for Balenciaga, The New York Times, Praying, Vogue, Fader, and more. He also shot footage for the last few seasons of How To With John Wilson and snapped the album cover for 100 Gecs’ highly anticipated upcoming record, 10,000 Gecs. I love Chris’ work and think he’s one of the best. Lucky for us, he’s here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
💫 Generic Black Hoodies
It’s very important for you to know that I have no taste when it comes to clothing, but a generic, black, pullover hoodie should be in every photographer’s toolkit.
It has a ton of utility: it can be a napkin, a drop cloth, a pillow for when you need to take a break. I can’t be worried about what I look like when I’m out taking pictures, and a black hoodie rarely looks stained. Long story short: I need to be wearing clothes that, if I fell into a huge puddle, I wouldn’t care. I’d just throw it in the trash and keep on moving.
Absolutely insane BBC dating show where contestants compete fully in the nude. As the rounds progress and the contestants answer questions, more and more of their bodies are revealed. First it’s their feet, and eventually it’s the whole enchilada. It all takes place in your standard, brightly-lit game show studio.
The strangest thing is that the host is totally clothed, making them look like some kind of insane outcast in an alternate nude universe. In a more fair world, the hosts, camera people, and producers would all be working in their birthday suits.
The ultimate fuel for people who like to walk around New York City all day. Lunch that costs more than $12 is a crime, and your dollar takes you very far at Pret. I recommend their Calabrese sandwich with a small orange juice.
Something I previously didn’t know is that every day, the staff at Pret hides a star sticker on the back of one of the sandwiches in the refrigerator, and, if you select it, you get that sandwich for free. Unbeknownst to me, I selected one at their 50th street location a while back and when I brought it to the counter, the entire staff cheered for me. It was one of the best days of my life.
My girlfriend Elena made me join this App and now I’m hooked. Every day, you’re given a random 2 minute window to snap a photo with both the front and back camera on your phone simultaneously, and you’re only allowed to see your feed if you do so.
You have to think on your feet, and the results are often amazingly banal. It’s a lot of photos of blurry countertops, boring landscapes, and your friends working at their computers. The imagery feels straight out of boomer Facebook posts.
A great book about the birth of Los Angeles based around the intertwining portraits of engineer William Mulholland, director DW Griffith, and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. It presents the city as founded upon myth, greed, and man’s desire to conquer nature- which I think fits into the narrative of just about any metropolis in the USA.
In New York City, we have a tendency to write off LA as some kind of self-indulgent city of cars and convenience, but there’s a part of me that thinks that LA’s image is far more honest than NYC’s: it more nakedly illustrates our innate desire as humans to exploit the Earth and each other to claim what we think we deserve as individuals. It’s a true illustration of the “every man for himself” brand of American ambition, and, in my opinion, New York is exactly the same, but we’re just a bit better at hiding it.
I think these look sick. There’s no way Charlie Chaplin actually wanted his movies to look the way that they did. If it existed at the time, he would have loved that insane “motion flow” setting that your parents keep activated on their TV.
Not the Jack Black that you’re thinking of. This is the autobiography of a burglar at the turn of the 20th century who feels like someone ripped out of a cartoon or something. I love stories with unreliable narrators, and this one takes the cake. Full of safe-cracking and train-hopping, it’s one of my favorite books. At one point, he buries a bunch of stolen cash in the ground, and returns years later to retrieve it only to find the stash trapped beneath a house that was built on top of it.
The Star Wars prequels were this weird bridge between the old, physical world of blockbuster filmmaking, and the green screen orgies that dominate the field today. There’s something quaint about watching a huge production navigate this lynchpin moment, and the voice over session to record Sebulba’s lines is worth a watch on its own. Check out the whole thing here.
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