Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Marcus Leatherdale.. or I used to be. It is all very surreal now that I am age I never thought I would live to. I was born in Montreal, Canada.
Where is home?

Home has always been a work in progress… We moved several times as a child in Montreal. I was usually the new kid in class. I have lived in Los Angeles… San Francisco… NYC… Banaras,India…Northern Ontario…Jharkhand, India… Lisbon, Portugal and now a quinta in central Portugal.

What sort of work do you specialize in?

I guess I am an Art that, that is what I have done most of my life ..However I also founded online art magazine in which I am the editor.I also have been restoring real estate with my partner and will be starting up a design Company together in Mexico . It will be about textiles and home wears. Of course I will still be taking photographs in India and Mexico.

Did you go to school to study photography?

Yes ..I went to too many schools. I started at Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal…then Los Angeles Art Center, San Francisco Art Institute and New York Art Institute.

How did you get started in photography?

The dean at Ecole des Beaux Arts was very keen on developing a film department..and introduced me to animation ..then film and then finally photography which sort of just stuck. I was a painting major but I gradually was seduced by photography.Also my father was a hobby photographer and had a makeshift darkroom under the basement stairs.He showed me the basics.

How would you describe your style?

My Style …no idea? In my India work ..I strive to be as traditional and as uncomplicated as possible…no tricky Photo Shop stuff….nothing digital. I am considered a Vintage Photographer in regard to my 80s NYC work…and a Traditional Timeless photographer with my India work….So I am a schizophrenic artist it seems these day.

Many of your shots seem to capture an emotion. How do you achieve that?

If there is no emotion in a portrait …then the image is dead. There has to be emotion in Art. Somehow I just channel the emotions.

What type of equipment do you use?
I still use only analog negative film and my trusty Hasselblad… No digital.
What lighting do you take on a shoot? Or use in your studio?

When I photographed in my NYC studio..i used a Monolite bounced strobe system. In India I only rely on morning Daylight 8-11 AM.

What was one of your most memorable shoots?

All my shoots are memorable…Whether I am shooting Andy Warhol or an Adivasi tribal…it is all about that moment. they are all pearls strung on the necklace.

How does it feel to be behind the camera yourself?

Behind or in front?.. I was a Fashion and Art model at that was helpful in understanding how to make subjects relax in front of the camera.Behind the camera I feel invisible..

Which photographers inspire you?

Painters inspired me mostly….Caravaggio, Modigliani, Schiele.¬†However Irving Penn and August Sanders were brilliant.

What books are on your nightstand now?

“Avenue of Mysteries” and “Son of the Circus” I am having a John Irving fest.

What was your favorite book as a child?
Hans Christian Anderson
If you could include a book on a high school syllabus, which would it be?
“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
What was your favorite film? Director?

I have seen 1000s of films ..but what always floats to the top is “Cabaret”. I love Guillermo del Toro as a director ..such brilliant visuals.

Who would you most like to work with?
No one really …I usually work alone..that is why I never explored video/film ..too many cooks.
What time periods would you most like to shoot in?
Paris and Raj India…in the 1920-30s
Do you have any shows coming up?

I have no current one man shows..however I am in two major group exhibits

  • “Club 57 Exhibit” at MOMA opening Oct. 31, 2017- April1. 2018
    It is a projection installation of 35 portraits of “Urban Women”..
  • 9 photographs in “Crossing Houston” an Asian traveling Museum show,
  • Nov. 2017- Page Gallery – Seoul, Korea
  • Feb. 2018 – Giao Space Museum – Shanghai,China
  • April 2018 – CAFA Museum – Beijing,China
You can also find out more about Marcus Leatherdale by visiting his site
Photo by by Jonathan Daniel Pryce
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