The Muse Book + Spencer Greene
On his start:
I started shooting in 2013. I had just moved back to Atlanta to finish school after taking some time off and working in NY. I came back and started working with my friend Eric on a project where he was the photographer and I was the writer. While working on the project, I started to feel my creative interest shift. I was also working for a streetwear magazine at the time and was constantly looking at lookbooks from different brands. I started to get inspired from both angles. During the shoots for the project, I got inspired by the people we were shooting and the way everything flowed. Then constantly scrolling on tumblr or flipping through magazines for images, I just felt like photography was a new creative outlet for me.
On his photography style:
I would describe my style as another black experience. A lot of people know me for nude art and implied nude art. But I shoot street style photography. I shoot a lot of musicians. Everyday people. I developed my style by looking at photos from Gordon Parks. I looked at photos from the jazz era, from the 70s of artist, from old jet magazines. From scrolling on tumblr and following blogs like street etiquette. Someone told me one day that my photos reminded them of an Ohio Players album cover; that was the best compliment ever. I think my style is a post-modern take on the black experience.
On his inspiration:
Music for the most part. 70s album covers, jazz, vintage photos of musicians and everyday people. Life inspires me though. Shapes, colors, sounds, people.
On The Muse Book:
I just released The Muse Book. Muse is a series I started a little over a year ago. I released the Muse calendar first, then had my first solo exhibit, MUSEUM. Between then and now, I've done a bunch of projects and collaborations, but The Muse Book is the most recently.
On what inspired the book:
The inspiration for the book was Barnes and Noble. I go to Barnes and Noble often and just read; mainly magazines, fashion books and cooking books. I was looking at Hypebeast Magazine and just thought that I wanted something tangible for people to have. The inspiration to celebrate the Black Woman's body came a long time ago. Black women have always been my biggest inspirations, from my mom to my sisters to my best friend to every woman I've dated. I just wanted to celebrate them. The reason why it’s mostly nude is because I like shapes. I love the curves of the black woman's body. Sharon, this wonderful curator at the last exhibit I did, told me my photos made bodies look like landscapes. I think that's why I shoot a lot of nude work is because I can transform the body into a shape and present it as a work of art.
On his biggest challenges:
Making money. People love your art, as long as it’s free. I get so frustrated when I get all these emails about doing exhibitions but I can't afford to print and frame work. Another challenge, confidence. It's so easy to compare yourself to others. To other photographers and artist. To people you've went to school with and who are more financially stable because they work a 9-5. Comparing yourself to celebrities and what not. I can be pretty insecure. But I have to remind myself that everyone has a different journey. Everyone has a different road ahead of them.
I'm working on an art show to benefit lupus awareness. I don't have any concrete dates or any other details for it now. Just that it’s really hard to do but it’s something important to me so I hope people support it. Other than that, I'm working on something really big, but I can't really give details yet.
What life motto do you live your life by?
Wu Tang is for the children
For more on Spencer, please visit www.mannishboy.me and follow on instagram @spencer_charles