Interview: Chas Ray Krider (2017)

Model: Carol

 

This issue was featured in the 6 Year Anniversary issue of Sinical Magazine. Copies can be purchased here.

Chas Ray Krider’s photographs are part of a tradition of erotic art that employs exaggeration, mystery and the guilty pleasures of voyeurism. His photographs are about the forms employed in narrative based erotic art. Chas Ray’s work is widely exhibited and published, including three solo books, Motel Fetish by TASCHEN in 2002, 2nd edition 2012, Do Not Disturb by La Musardine of Paris, 2007 and most recently Dirty Rendezvous by Goliath Books of Berlin, 2014.

 

Sinical Magazine: In 2016, Lorenzo Eroticolor designed a Motel Fetish themed posters. Can you talk about this collaboration?

Chas Ray Krider: Lorenzo Eroticolor is a French poster designer based in Paris and is widely known across Europe for his motorcycle themed poster imagery. We have a mutual friend who introduced us several years ago. Via the internet we came to appreciate each other’s work. In 2013 I organized a group fashion themed show in my studio under the banner of The Invisible Gallery. The show included Lorenzo, LA photographer Charley Gallay aka Photo Ray Gun Mambo, and myself. Lorenzo designed a marvelous poster for the show. This was our first collaboration. Recently I had to give up my long time studio due to raising rent. Being forced out brought closure to Motel Fetish. A local gallery hosted one last hurrah exhibition for the Motel work. Lorenzo designed a Motel Fetish commemorative poster based on one of photographs (the poster is available at chasraykrider.com.

Sinical Magazine: What is it about fetish clothing that you find more intriguing than shooting a fully nude women?

Chas Ray Krider: What did Helmut Newton say? Something like, I’m paraphrasing, “without some article of clothing the woman is naked. Wearing high heels she is nude, not naked. So there you have it. I’m not so interested in the unclothed body as pure form. I think the adorned body can heighten the sexual experience in a poetic way, that is to say… fetish. I like images that have a certain level of strangeness. Fetish helps achieve that end.

Sinical Magazine: You created an interesting photo of a girl holding a cucumber. Can you talk about the story behind this image and some of the other images in this layout?

Chas Ray Krider: Good question. The woman in the photo is Isola. She’s Columbus based and has been my go-to model of the last two years. One day she said she would like to do a cookbook of phallus foods. That sounded totally absurd to me, so naturally I went for it. We made a list of phallic shaped foods, then we proceeded to make an series of photographs over several months, hence the cucumber. Isola is also the model raking leaves in girdle and stocking. This image is another absurd idea with humorous intent. It was shot on the same day as Isola standing at the top of a stairway.

 

Design by Lorenzo Eroticolor

 

Sinical Magazine: What made you decide to move on from the “Motel Fetish” theme?

Chas Ray Krider: I was fortunate to have three books published on the Motel theme. In order not to repeat myself I went in the opposite direction, a more stripped-down minimal set. The two photos in this Sinical layout of the model Kristen, in an orange and yellow slip, are from my effort to move away from motel theme interior setup. Carpet, lamp light…. all gone.

Sinical Magazine: How did your “Last Motel Fetish” show go?

Chas Ray Krider: Like all art shows, “they came, they saw, they left.” Just joking. It was nice turnout of models, collectors and long time friends who appreciate the work. In addition to the print exhibition, to further the evening’s entertainment, I staged what I call Motel Vivant. Motel Vivant is a take off on classic tableau vivant. Tableau vivant is usually a painting staged using live models to depict the painting in 3D. In Motel Vivant I build a motel set, with carpet, lamps and furniture in a public space. Two models were in the space in full motel regalia; girdles, panties, stockings, etc. The models are passively present in the set and do not interact with the audience. The effect is a still photograph come to life.

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about your work with Goliath Books?

Chas Ray Krider: Miki Bunge of Goliath was great to work with. The image selection, sequencing and overall editing process went very smoothly. If I may digress, the books Motel Fetish and Do Not Disturb are both narratives. Image selection and sequence were crucial to get the narrative across. By the time I worked with Goliath my personal narrative had broken down. With the ending of narrative I was able to give up the need to control. Goliath and I agree on the image selection. I pretty much left the image sequencing up to Goliath. The initial layout was fine with good pairings. I must say the printing and reproductions in Dirty Rendezvous are excellent. I am totally satisfied with how the book turned out.

 

Model: Ludella Hahn

 

Sinical Magazine: You had to give up your studio space last year. Where you currently conducting photo shoots at?

Chas Ray Krider: At present I’m somewhere between hiatus and limbo. My former studio space, an old store front, I managed to hold onto for more than twenty years. Having space was very conducive to the motel work, everything I needed was at my fingertips… props, furniture, rolls of carpet, a basement full of lamps, everything needed to construct a variety of motel sets. Most important, the studio allowed privacy. Now without the space I’m forced to be more inventive, investigate a different approach. Now I use spaces where I can find them; friends’ studios, rented motel rooms, I have a mini space at home.

Sinical Magazine: Are you still working with the same photography equipment? Have you experimented with any new technology?

Chas Ray Krider: When it comes to equipment I’m fairly low tech and not heavily invested. I used a Canon 5D ll. Mainly I use modified hot lights. I like to keep it simple. I have a strobe lighting system which I seldom use. I’m only interested in the image and the idea behind it. With technical advances I guess I’m old school, soon to be very old school.

Sinical Magazine: Steve Diet Goedde has stated that he has slowed down the pace of his work and experimented with different camera formats. What inspires you to keep creating images, these days? What projects are you working on for 2017?

Chas Ray Krider: Like Steve I’ve slowed the pace of producing new photographs. I can appreciate his efforts in experimenting with different camera formats. I’ve found that changing up cameras can change the physical feeling towards composition and interaction with the subject. What keeps me creating images? I don’t feel compelled to make new images as I once did. The situation being I have more images than can be used, a lot of good work that may never be seen. Again, like Steve and other photographers that have been at it for quite awhile we have the luxury of picking and choosing when we make new images. What I’m most interested in at this time is integrating text and words with photographs. I’m inspired by my own past work to write. For example I’m currently writing short stories based on my photos. The stories are fictionalized of accounts of events that happen while making various photos, including dialogue I had with models. To give the stories other voices I have been asking models I have worked with to contribute their memories and feelings about out sessions which I can then integrate into the stories. I can envision an annotated Motel Fetish. While I’m making new photos at a slower pace, I’m working just as much as I push into different areas of creativity. If I have a goal for this years in would be to publish, most likely self publish, a book comprised of short stories, images and antidotes from behind the scenes.

 

Model: Isola

 

Sinical Magazine: You’ve stated in the past that you were a fan of Hitchcock, film noir, and surrealism. Have you seen any films or TV shows that you’ve found inspiring or interesting?

Chas Ray Krider: Yes, Hitchcock, film noir, and surrealism have long shaped my work. While film noir and surrealism are past styles of art they are states of mind which are still present. I feel they are vital today, at least for me. I have jokingly said “I’m a modern man trapped in a post-modern world.” I guess now it would be in a post post-modern world. TV shows? Not so much inspiring but I do have my favorites. I did Breaking Bad then segued into Better Call Saul. I followed The Preacher. Off and on I watch The Walking Dead although I have no use for zombies. I watch TCM -- keeping up with the past is a full time job. I have resisted streaming knowing I will spend more time passively watching. I await the return of Twin Peaks.

www.chasraykrider.com 
www.raydelmar.tumblr.com 
www.motelfetish.com 

 

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