NEST HQ was created with the intention of being a platform aimed at promoting and encouraging the growth of artists of all genres and mediums. While we’ve worked mostly within music up to this point, we are expanding on a new content series that will showcase multimedia artists of various backgrounds including painters, graphic designers, architects, and others of the sort; this is installation. Every other week, we’ll post hand-selected pieces from our featured artists via our Instagram @nesthq, along with excerpts from the full interviews which will be posted on the Friday of that week.
This week on installation, we present photographer, musician, and graphic designer Ryan Farber.
Can you tell us a bit about how your story as an artist began? At what point did you realize that art was something you’d be doing longterm?
My dad worked for a local news station in Philly, and when I was very young I would always go out on shoots with him. This inspired me to really pursue the creative part of myself. In college I worked on film shoots almost every weekend doing sound. I hardly ever partied, I was usually just on set. Then I started working on larger scale documentary productions still doing sound, but I had always wanted to be behind the camera. So I finally bought one and started shooting the one thing I really knew, music. Now I was at shows and parties every weekend, photographing. There was no defining moment where I was like ok, this is what I want to do the rest of my life. It was more of a long, arduous, and gradual process of honing aimless intention into somewhat purposeful art.
What is the reason for the medium you chose to become proficient in? What does this medium allow you to do that other mediums may not?
Photography for me is almost my ideal form of communication. It lets me convey ideas without using words. I was never good at expressing myself verbally so I figured I would do it visually. The majority of my photos have people in them because everyone has a unique story. For me, it’s the people that create memories. I wan’t to immortalize people, no matter who they are. I want my photos to be portraits of everything that culminated in someone’s life up until the very moment that I took it. My photos are not about me, they are about the people in them. I haven’t found any other medium where I can convey that level of profound explication.
That being said, my photos are, a lot of the time, what I want to see in myself.
What were the inspirations behind these three pieces specifically?
I was touring in Europe and this was after a show on the roof a venue called Uebel und Gefährlic in Hamburg, Germany. It was this old WWII airforce bunker that was repurposed into a venue and music school. This photo represents the importance of human connection in all the places I go, especially when I’m touring around. Places can seem so fleeting, so meeting amazing people is what creates memories for me.
This photo represents what it means to truly be in the moment. I took this at a dance battles party. Every time I go to shoot battles I see people let loose and feel themselves. Usually their eyes are closed, and they disregard their surroundings, only reacting to the music.
This photo represents the chaos around me, and the things that keep me centered. It’s about finding peace in the most hectic of moments.
What are some of the defining moments in your career so far? How have they affected the way you approach your art and your creations?
There was a point about two years ago I got asked to start photographing this party in Philly called Second Sundae. It’s a dance battle party. Some of the best house dancers and b-boys in the city would come out to this party and battle their hearts out with each other. It completely changed the way I photograph. It taught me about anticipation and execution, and trained me to capture the most subtle and fleeting moments. The funny thing is that I’m a horrible dancer. I couldn’t dance to save my life.
The next thing was being asked to go on tour. For about a year or so, I was the photographer in the pit, always shooting up at artists. It was fun at first, until I started feeling detached and unstimulated. Like here I am standing around the stage with like ten other photogs shooting the same exact shit they are. It just felt incredibly impersonal. I don’t like taking pictures of things that I don’t have a connection to. I wanted to get more involved and tell a more captivating story. I was lucky enough to work with an incredibly talented band called the Districts, and now an incredibly talented DJ, producer, and curator, Mija.
How do you feel the industry is doing right now? Which trends are really pushing the industry forward, and which are holding it back?
The creative “industry,” in a large sense, is vast and saturated. But it’s always been. We just notice it more because we are inundated by content everyday. We need to be more selective. I think the new algorithms social media platforms are implementing are going to completely change and shape the way we perceive the world, for better or for worse. I only hope that people choose what they like because they genuinely like it and are inspired, not because a computer tells them to like it.
What are some other artists that you are currently into?
I think Pretty Puke is really dope. I dig his rawness. Or maybe raunchiness.
Derek Ridgers. I love his portraits.
Nosego is doing some of my favorite street art.
What are some of your goals for 2016?
Move to LA. Make hella zines. Have a gallery showcase somewhere. Get published. Take deadlines more seriously. Release an EP. Do a photoshoot in space.
Why did you choose these pieces to represent yourself on this spread?
These pieces are simply a reflection of my life and the people in it.