We continue our interview series with San Francisco based photographer Connor Sacks.
Similarly to our last featured artist, Connor produces most of his work on film and when he's not out shooting you can find him skateboarding throughout the Bay Area. Most recently, Connor tabled with us at the SF Art Book Fair with his apparel project Cellar Goods. We caught up with the Southern California native before heading out on his next adventure to Costa Rica:
1. Where are you from originally and how long have you been living in the Bay Area?
- Anaheim, CA. I've been in San Francisco for around 7 years now.
2. How did you find yourself shooting film? And what do you like most about working with film as a medium?
- Other than being around friends who were always messing with film cameras, back country backpacking is what made me want to pursue taking photos beyond with my phone. I hate the idea of being distracted from a moment because you're worried about taking a good photo. That was initially why film was appealing to me. No preview screen to instantly view your photo and mess with settings to try to get it right- and no massive memory card to allow you to shoot endlessly. One click and it's done.
3. What other things do you like to do creatively or recreationally outside of photography?
- Skateboarding. I film skateboarding as well. The editing process of making videos is fun for me. I like to find and sample old Sci-Fi VHS tapes and splice it with skate footage.
4. We know you've been working on an apparel project for a little while now and we were excited to feature some of your first pieces at SF Art Book Fair. What can you tell us about Cellar Goods in its early stages and what have you learned since starting up an endeavor like it?
- Cellar has been a fun project for me. I geek out on basic apparel- things like hats and shirts and I'm pretty particular about the way I want them so the production of the goods is a fun process for me. I also love that it's a way for me to collaborate with my friends who create art and make shit that we think is cool. I never intended it to be a "brand" or whatever, but I want to put out a few pieces of apparel every year that have some art inspired design.
5. Finally, the theme of leaving the Bay Area due to high rent, cost of living, etc., is a popular one that crosses most people's minds these days. We know you've done a fair amount of traveling throughout the country in the last year as well. Is there any other city in the U.S. (or abroad) that you've encountered where you could see yourself living and being able to fully pursue your interests, should you have to ever leave SF?
- I like where I am at now, but am never certain of where I'll end up. I'm kinda bi-polar in my thinking of where I want to be. Sometimes I want to be in cities surrounded by people and everything people have created and other times I want to be in a rural environment surrounded by only people who are close to me and enjoy the simplicity of that lifestyle. I am going to be living on a coffee plantation in Costa Rica in August for a month or so, maybe I'll have a better idea of how I feel about it after that.
As far as cities go San Francisco is the one I prefer to be in. People are always shocked and bring up that it is so expensive to live here and how do you do it. If you live a fairly simple life and use the resources of people around you, you can live in this city for pretty cheap. It's the people in this city that are changing over the years. More people are concerned with making a lot of money and living in excess and have little to no interest in activities that keep the human spirit alive... That's pretty weak and I don't enjoy seeing that, but the city is whatever you make of it and there are still a lot of rad people here.
Our second co-programmed event will be held Saturday night of the book fair weekend at Book & Job Gallery in the Tenderloin district.
Austin Leong, who will also be curating releases and content for our SFABF table, has produced this street photo show in time to coincide with the fair. Pulling together some familiar and new faces from the SF street scene, Leong presents this grand showing of distinctive and peculiar scenes that to many in the city encapsulate our extraordinary community.
Saturday, July 22 from 7-10PM- 838 Geary St. San Francisco
It Happens All The Time is a group photography show featuring 8 local San Francisco photographers. The Exhibition showcases photographs looking at day to day life within their community. Each candid snap documents the uniqueness of San Francisco.
Featuring work by Abbey Abate, Amanda Ramos, Crystal Millán, Hannah Schuster, Heidi Judge, Kayleigh Ziehler-Martin, May Daniels, and Olivia Krause. (Images ordered one per artist, alphabetically by first name)
Releasing in time for SFABF 2017 and available only at the illetante collective table.
Edition of 75, printed and bound in SF.
illetante collective is proud to announce its involvement in the 2nd annual SF Art Book Fair from July 21-23! We will be curating a table alongside some of our frequent collaborators (and great friends) Muzae Sesay, Austin Leong, and Chris Veltri of Groove Merchant SF. Please come check out what promises to be a great offering of books and zines by friends and local artists alike. We'll also have some soft goods and vintage ephemera for sale as well.
Stay tuned for updates on evening events that we will be programming in SF that weekend as the fair gets closer.
Thanks for all of your support and can't wait to hang out at the fair!
We would like to kick off our new "welcome" format by introducing interviews with the featured artists upon their first mention on our site.
Our very first interview is with Nils Heck: a well traveled, German photographer who is consistently producing stunning images in between skating and filmmaking.
Nils first connected with us via the film photography community on social media. We checked in with him at his home in Darmstadt to ask him a few questions about himself and his endeavors:
1. What city are you based out of and where have you been producing your most recent bodies of work (at home, abroad, etc)?
- I'm living in Darmstadt (Germany), which is pretty close to Frankfurt am Main. My most recent work I shot in South America last year (2016) when I was traveling there for five months. Other than that I shoot a lot of my work in Frankfurt on the streets and wherever I go actually.
2. How would you describe your photographic style and approach? What do you look for when you're taking photos?
- I think it's always hard to describe your own style. I'm interested in almost everything. I love taking photographs of people in the streets or portraits of friends and strangers, landscapes, animals dead or alive, interiors, trash, and I don't know what else. I'm not really looking for something specific when I'm out shooting. I have to feel something when I see the developed photograph. I could never really say I'm one specific kind of photographer. Taking photos is like taking notes for me. I just snap whenever something interests me. And it also helps a lot in keeping memories.
3. Do you feel that the re-emergence of film photography as a trend has helped you in connecting with a film photo community at home, or at large?
- I don't know if the re-emergence of film photography really helped me with connecting to more film photographers. Maybe. For me, it doesn't matter if someone takes photographs digitally or on film. In the end, it should be about the picture. I think the connecting comes more with the internet in general. But I like the fact that more and more people shoot film again. That means that film will be around longer.
4. What else do you like to do creatively, or recreationally, outside of photography?
- My main creative outlet outside of photography is skateboarding, but I always have a camera with me even when I'm skating. I would also say that skateboarding got me into taking photos and filming. I film skateboarding as well and I make documentaries. So that's another creative outlet, but it's pretty similar, right?
I play the guitar from time to time, but I don't find enough time for it. Reading books is always a good one as well.
Since this year I've been doing a lot of gardening at my grandparent's house. They can't really do it on their own anymore so I decided to try it out myself. For me, that's almost the same as the difference between analog and digital photography. You can go to the grocery store and buy all your vegetables or you grow them on your own. You appreciate the food more when you know how much work it is to grow it yourself. I don't know if that makes sense.
5. We know you like to get into a bit of traveling... Where in the world are you looking to travel to with the intentions of producing a new body of work?
- That's a good question. When you start to travel, you get more and more curious about different cultures. I have to say that I really fell in love with Latin America. I would love to go back there especially to Colombia.
Other than that I would really like to travel more to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe like Serbia, Poland, Rumania and more. I would really like to see Russia once in my life and I think that Japan would be really interesting as well. It's hard to tell just one.
I would always take pictures when I go somewhere because I always have a camera with me.
6. Finally- when can we look forward to having you out in The Bay Area? In turn, what do you know about this part of California and are there things going on out here that have caught your eye in terms of creative movements, artistic expression, and/or other cultural phenomenon?
- I would love to come right now if there wouldn't be the two major problems, which are time and money. I met some cool people from San Francisco in Peru last year. So I'll try to visit them someday. Hopefully, I'll make it out to you within the next two years.
I don't know a lot about the Bay Area. I just heard that it seems to be pretty European. I love the raw skating which comes from the Bay Area. It also seems like a super creative area with a lot of alternative-minded people.
"There is an inherent commonality in painting and photography; the mediums are tied by the process of seeing, and translating. Through a mixture of retention, and expression I seek to explore the transition cycle from the optic to the cerebral. This Portal is where, for me, paint meets print."
illetante Vol. 1 Release Event
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 7-10pm
The Growlery, 235 Broderick St. San Francisco CA
Artwork by Adrian Martinez, Austin Leong, Brandon Splane, Drew Grasso, Muzae Sesay, Oliver Abate
Music by Brogan Bentley
Tables by illetante collective, Modest Press, and Munbeibi Studio
Beer Provided by Ommegang and Boulevard Breweries
Taken on a trip to London in the Summer of 2015.
I found two young girls deep in concentration, set in two different London neighborhoods that are both being affected heavily by gentrification: one has been virtually swallowed whole, while the other is well on it's way. Each girl to me represented the current state of each neighborhood with one set firmly in stone and the other looking on to where the future may lead...
In many ways they are a reflection of my own existence in San Francisco as a resident who has been forced to endure and look on as gentrification has greatly affected many of those around me.
Images featured in "View from the Street": an analog street photography show on view in downtown San Jose at Bobabar from Oct. 13- Nov. 13, 2016.
Series of accidental double exposure photos shot on 35mm between trips spent in Belize, Mexico, and the United States.
Images from most recent solo exhibition held at Artist Television Access in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA.
A series of analogue collages by Brandon Splane. Hand cut and pasted from 70's Travel and Camera magazines. 2014
in cahoots with Windmill West
Photos of Natasha Dangond on a summer road trip up the Pacific Northwest coast. San Francisco to Canada. 2014.
Camera: Minolta 7000
Film: ilford hp5 400