My work is, in fact, neutral. In fact, its very neutrality is one of the things that worries me about it sometimes. There’s sometimes not a lot of emotive passion in the work. Because I shoot long shutter speeds, people are necessarily very still, and the work is very, very plain and... neutral. That neutrality isn’t sexual by nature. My subjects are just there. So if you read sexuality into my pictures, beyond what’s inherent to a human being, then the work is acting as a Rorschach, and you’re evincing sexual immaturity or sexual malaise in your own life. I have to tell you, I am sometimes deeply suspicious of the sexual mental health of some of the people who point their wavering fingers at the morality, the art, of others.
People need to realize that a cultural war has been declared here. A virulent, aggressive minority has decided that Americans don’t know themselves what it is they should see, and need to be protected by people who are wiser than they are, even if they are only a tiny sliver of the population. This represents a whole new level of attention to the arts by repressive forces. It’s very scary, and it has to be withstood.
My hope is that the work is in some way counter-pinup. A pinup asks you to suspend interest in who the person is and occupy yourself entirely with looking at the body and fantasizing about what you could do with that body, completely ignoring how the person might feel about it.
Every photograph is a record of the relationship that existed between the photographer and the person photographed. If that relationship is superficial and fleeting, let's say, for example, a fashion photograph, where the relationship consists mostly of money and surface, then the pictures are somehow not very nourishing. In fact, most fashion photographs ever made are now fish wrap, at best. They haven’t endured, they don’t endure in our minds, because there’s little or no relationship depicted. But the great photographs in photography, the ones that we really love, are so often the ones where the relationships depicted are the deepest.