He is one of the most famed photographers, editors and publishers. With titles like Dazed and Confused and Hunger under his belt, not to mention being a dog lover, strongly passionate for cinema and deeply in love with his wife, top model Tuuli, Rankin (John Rankin Waddel) has reached incomparable success since his beginnings in the early 90’s due to his unique personhood, and unmistakable style that’s powerful and always straight-forward. And yet, recently Rankin has rediscovered a new way to enjoy photography; one that focuses on thought-provoking imagery through spontaneity, and investigating the impact this can have on people. He has indeed inaugurated one of his most radical exhibitions of all: Less is more. Curated by Ulrich Ptak at Kunsthalle Rostock and conceived as a retrospective of his most controversial and experimental work, images have been printed in large scale, forcing visitors to really reflect on what they are seeing. Simply, you love it or you hate it. There are no half measures for Rankin, nor half emotions nor half answers.
What does the concept LESS IS MORE mean to you?
It means what is says on the tin; you get more out of seeing less. It’s a reflection on the way we consume imagery these days, bombarded with a flick and click, where seeing less for a moment may evoke more meaning.
What do you think about this entire obsession with appearance?
I find it very boring. It’s like we’re all trying to create our own brands. It’s sad, really.
What is real beauty to you?
My wife is real beauty.
What do you think about the phenomenon of curvy beauties?
Is it a phenomenon? It’s been round quite a while. I love women and men of all different shapes and sizes.
What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
I just love taking photographs. The actual taking of the pictures is what I get the biggest kick from.
What’s the trick of being a good photographer?
Not stealing anybody’s soul. I’m playful with people, but I don’t want to change their attitude. A photo is a self-expression, It has to be taken seriously and still not seriously at all. It’s you in front of the camera but I have to make you forget about it. It has to be momentous in itself because everybody is different.
Somebody you haven’t photographer yet is…?
Barack Obama. I’d jump at the chance to do a portrait of him.
Besides photography, what other passions do you have?
My dogs are a massive passion in my life, and also watching films.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
A magazine publisher which I am as well.
Rankin’s ‘Less Is More’ is curated by Ulrich Ptak and will run until 28th February 2016 at Kunsthalle Rostock in Germany.
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