All American Trash Girl by Jason Altaan

We came upon young artist Jason Altaan, and we couldn’t be happier we did. This particular kitsch photography series is something like we’ve never seen. The british based artist is still in school, so we’re so excited to see what’s to come. We chatted to him about his future influences and his future. Check out his editorial and video below!

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How did you get into doing the art you do?
Well my mother is a painter and has encouraged me to be creative since I was a toddler. I’ve always been passionate about drawing and painting but as of the last 2 years or so I have focused a lot of attention on photography and teaching myself how to put together the kind of images I enjoyed drawing or painting, but now in front of a camera.

How would you describe it?
I would say it’s very loud. It’s not timid, or ethereal or mysterious it just kind of hits you straight in the face, “High Impact Imagery”. It’s very much about putting the subject on a pedestal and making them larger than life. Sometimes with subjects that you wouldn’t typically see in that light.

What were you going for with this photo series?
This series explored some of the aesthetics of American Trash culture in the 1980s and attempts to shine a light on the beauty that existed within that, without taking it too seriously.

What are your influences?
I love old shitty TV shows like Baywatch and Jerry Springer and that brand of trash television from my childhood. I draw lots of inspiration from the subject I am shooting, but I am quite particular about who I use.

They seem very satirical, is that deliberate?
I think it falls somewhere in between a satire and appreciation for a particular era of design, art and advertising. I wouldn’t ever set out to make a shoot “funny” but they sometimes turn out as humorous caricatures of people I’ve known in my life or in the media.

What other artists do you enjoy?
I love Pierre et Gilles, Taylor Marie Prendergast, Alex Gross, Jeff Koons, Alex Prager. David LaChapelle in particular is the one who made me want to pick up a camera. I think seeing his work at a young age was very influential on the way I viewed photography and inspired me to create my own images.

What’s coming up next?
I’m currently studying Graphic Media Design at London College of Communication so you will definitely be seeing lots of transformation in my work over the next 3 years as I develop new methods and soak up that education. I want to have the privilege of working on both sides of the fine art and commercial art spectrum like many of the artists I look up to.

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