MEET #1449 JESSE CHEHAK
Photographer • Tucson, AZ
WNW Member #1449 Jesse Chehak has worked with a list of clients that include The New York Times, Newsweek, GQ, Vanity Fair, Wire, & People. He's also had exhibits in a variety of spaces including Danese (NYC), Durham Art Guild (Durham, NC), Hi-Lite Project Space (LA), and Lennox Contemporary (Toronto.) This past year, Jesse collaborated with fellow photographer & friend Alex Hoerner under the pseudonym "Bruder". Jesse spoke to WNW about the benefits of collaboration: "It is important that creatives thrash and collide time and again to produce radically entropic and disorienting results." Bruder's photography will be exhibited at Gallery 169 in Santa Monica, opening with an artist's reception this Saturday (December 6th) and extending to January 15th, 2015.
1. How long have you been shooting?
Just about 14 years now professionally but been immersed in camera vision most my life. I'm 35.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
I am most productive in the early morning, highly creative off the grid, and develop my best ideas when traveling at high speeds.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
1:1 but I'm not totally sure what this means. When I'm not hired, I get back to work on whatever I've left simmering.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
Without those cuckoo birds I'd be someone else. Both my parents are working artists- fiction writers.
5. What do you do when Not Working?
I party with my two young boys and wife. We know how to do it.
6. Do you have a hidden talent?
Besides freestyle blading? I'm a piano man and a generator of noise. I also have a thing for knots and cairns.
7. Any tips or advice for fellow Photographers coming up?
Hit the road and make friends with strangers. And say yes a lot.
8. Your photography seems to focus on landscapes & the natural world. What prompted you to break away from this with your collaboration with Alex Hoerner, aka “Bruder”?
Alex and I have been friends for over a decade. We're always bouncing ideas off one another and have maintained a healthy, brotherly sense of adventure and positivity. There are many sides of my personality and interests that wandering down a path of mayhem and cosmic disorientation with him just happened organically and with pleasure. Bruder is not so much a breaking away... it's simply adding to the rich stew that makes up my diverse and ever curious approach to pushing up against the edges of my own photographic vision. It almost feels like we're in a band- but instead of going solo after years of bickering, we've reversed that model. The portfolio of pictures we've produced over the last year is the result of straightforward excitement toward asking ourselves, "How far can we push each other when there are no rules or regulations." It's been all about making connections between seemingly disparate yet familiar forms.
9. Was it a conscious decision to distinguish this collaboration from the kind of photography you’re known for?
We decided to work under the radar and with a pseudonym so that we did not have to answer to anyone, ourselves included. It quickly became a deep dark secret. We both felt this primal urge to just follow our hidden, often demonic, interests with purity and unbridled enthusiasm. In the end it's been about having a great time together, combining our technical skills and mutual respect to create widely unimaginable yet carefully crafted pictures. It all happened with very little pre-frontal cortex involved. You know, it's not often that creatives are able to ditch their egos and just let things roll in the way Alex and I have played out this incredibly therapeutic collaboration. Enough with authorship... it is important that creatives thrash and collide time and again to produce radically entropic and disorienting results.
10. How would you describe the art that Bruder is creating?
Our work pivots on the galactic reality of violent dischord amongst interplanetary harmony of form and spirit.