Q&A: Travis Gillett


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? This too shall pass. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? That we spent so much time on things that mattered so little. Are you aware of any conspiracies? That the world is against us. I’d love to believe in aliens at Area 51. What is it that interests you about photography? It can’t be mastered. What is the worst thing about city life? Rent + Traffic + Passive Aggression. Good people watching. What part of the planet would you like to explore?
Japan is probably at the top of the list, for now. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? That this is all a computer simulation. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Pick a field of science to be an expert within.
Natural History.

What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? Hmm, any time my iPhone dies. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Dishwasher. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Matt Black’s work is important. Also, Eggleston’s “Untitled, C.1975,” of the woman on the grass. How often do you take other people’s advice? I try to listen to the older and wiser. Describe a personal hell. Being boring. Or the bus. Which living person do you most admire? The American Cowboy, my mother, and my girlfriend Whitney Borden. On what occasion do you lie? When people ask how I’m doing. What was the last crime you witnessed? Trump is an atrocity. What is the best way to educate yourself? Experience.

What is the next book you want to read? The Peyote Dance by Antonin Artaud. Ultimate camera? Mamiya 7ii. Most used camera? Canon 5D Mark IV. What object do you want? Reliable truck. What object do you need? Is my dog Mona an object? How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Water cooler conversation on cocaine. Describe a cheap thrill. Fresh french press. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. American Civil Rights Movement. Which talent would you most like to have? Self-reliance. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Make a hearty breakfast, read, run the dog, take one portrait of a friend, play guitar, and then play a show with my band Sundries.

Approximately 75% of inmates at Angola will never leave. Louisiana has the nation’s highest incarceration rate, and is known for tough sentencing. For those here serving time the rest of their days, the rodeo acts as a reminder of life on the other side. They mill around, joke with fellow convicts, and see family and friends. — See more of Travis Gillett’s work at: travisgillett.com