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Jock Sturges

Art Project Issue #8

interview  •  Dennis Golonka

Sturges’ ability to capture unstudied, un-posed, natural gestures is remarkable. His photography conveys a quiet warmth and beauty, creating moments of true peace. He prides himself on the bonds of trust, friendship and collaboration between the photographer and model. The admiration and respect he shows for his subjects shines loudly through his works. 

Sturges shared a note he recently received from one of his models, Eva (photo below). It’s a glimpse into Eva’s memory from the day of the photoshoot; along with her thoughts on the image today. It shows the respect Sturges has for his subjects is one of mutual admiration. 

Thanks for pulling out the image of me that one of your friends beautifully described as the ‘water spider’ image; it made my day! I was scrolling through the Facebook timeline inattentively when BAM, all of a sudden I saw my own face. I find it hard to describe what exactly struck me so much, but honestly, it made me tear up a bit. Maybe it was the serenity of my own face, or the remembrance of a time in my life that, now that I look back at it, felt so warm and peaceful – the day this picture was taken, especially. It also could be that I was struck by seeing how beautiful I look, something that I don’t really see in myself in daily life. I also just haven’t seen this picture in a while. All the pictures hanging in my parents’ house I know very well; I can dream them with my eyes closed. But the vast majority of the pictures you took, are not hanging up on the walls to see all the time. They are carefully filed in the albums my mother made. So maybe it was the shock of running into ‘someone’ I know very well, but haven’t seen in a long time. But I think that is just the beauty of the photographic medium. Aside from the personal memories and feelings attached to it, it is just a marvelous piece of art (and that is coming from a graduated art historian! ) The light on my face and hair, the super strange composition, the soft tones, the balance between my stretched arms and held up hair, which is then subtly broken by the falling strand of hair – giving the image a certain liveliness that makes it look as if I could just open my eyes, stand up and move on. Mysterious! I could daydream about this endlessly