David Brandon Geeting's work irreverently pairs couture with nondescript items to make art that looks like his desk
Having graduated from New York’s School of Visual Arts four and half years ago, David Brandon Geeting has already exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach and shot for the likes of Nylon, The Fader and The New York Times T Magazine. He is clearly a rising star, but modestly comments that “every time I make new work, I feel like I’ve never made art before,” adding, “I also have a hard time learning from experience; I hit my head on the same low ceilings every time. I hope my work looks as if someone who just hit their head on a ceiling is trying to make art for the first time.”
These images come from a shoot for Surface magazine and show off clothes by Maison Martin Margiela, but Geeting is irreverent about high fashion too, noting that he and creative director Zak Klauck paired the clothes with everyday items because “the Margiela couture was so ridiculous”. Done at “the cheapest studio I could find, with off-brand strobes, a modest collection of seamless paper and an IKEA couch”, the shoot took just four hours and the post-production something similar. “I don’t like to spend a lot of time on things,” says the 26-year-old. “When I do, they tend to lose their excitement.”
It’s a fitting approach for someone who got into image making through “a bunch of stoners” who thought they were doing “some serious magic” in the darkroom, and who believes in the transformative power of photography. “I am not a nostalgic person so I am less concerned with relating to people in obvious ways, like referencing iconic brands and products,” he says.
“I am more concerned with what’s on my desk in front of me at this very moment. Wrinkled receipts, a peanut with three humps that I keep for good luck, two lighters of the same shade of blue (one of which doesn’t work), fake Ray-Bans, a flimsy plastic container for cherry tomatoes that I repurposed as a container for weed, drum keys, a stapler covered in dust because I’ve only used it, like, twice, earplugs stained with earwax that I have yet to throw out, and a magnetic box made for paper clips but instead filled with bent bottle caps and fake flower petals from the dollar store – I want my art to look like my desk.”
Find more of David’s work here.
First published in the June 2014 issue. You can buy the issue here.