ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT BOOTSY HOLLER 2013
I'm not usually fooled by photographs, but the first time I saw Bootsy Holler's pictures, she totally got me! I had no clue and suddenly it hit me. Bravo!! Very impressive and compelling stuff. I had to know more about the photos and I had to know more about anyone named Bootsy! So I contacted her and we chatted for a while. Here is a little Q&A with Ms. Holler.
Hi Bootsy, tell me about how and why you started making these "Zeligesque" photos.
Zelig is a great reference for this work. I must watch the movie again now.
The How: I had been in Los Angeles for a few years and was looking for inspiration and a community of photographers. I had started a class with Aline Smithson at the Julia Dean Workshop to find this inspiration and community; our first assignment was a self-portrait.
The Why: I had a lot of vintage clothing, a box of old family snap shots and a project I had done on my Grandparents home. I've always been interested in antiquated objects and have always been compared to my Grandmother Ruby with her skills for clothing design, so I placed myself next to her in 1936. The image of me, my white shepherd "Mouse" and my Grandmother Ruby was the image I brought to class as my self portrait. The reaction from everyone was great and from there I knew I had something interesting and personal to work on. Now the why is different, as I have learned so much about myself in the process and about my mother and her mother? Understanding where they have come from explains a lot about my self. Can’t wait to start on my father’s side of the family.
If you could travel through time once every 10 years, who would you bring with you and where would you go?
This is hard for me because I'm such a realist and always try and stay present. But I would probably travel with my sister as she is a great traveler and I know we have had many lives together. So Paris in the 20's to visit Kiki and all the artists she was hanging out with of the time would be amazing.
Then, on my next trip, I would have to take my husband to Rome 100AD where we could study all the architecture and buildings.
But as much as traveling is great, I must say, for me, home is my favorite place.
When did you first get "serious" about photography and what did you photograph?
I have always been interested in photography from a young age. When it became serious, I suppose, would have started when I was shooting images to use for a small business I was running when I was 25. I was shooting oddities and objects to be used in my products. But at that same time I was shooting bands, musicians, live shows and portraits, as that was my scene in the 1990’s. Portraiture has always been my thing, be it objects or people.
Finally, you can choose any five photographers’ work to display in your home. Who would you choose?
I would probably choose some contemporary artist like Thierry Gearon, Julie Cockburn, Charles Grogg, I love the texture they all bring and could live with their work. For the last few I would add some classic B&W of Edward Weston, Julius Shulman and Robert Frank. Oops 6, I guess I’ll have to rotate the work.