joey prince

Mak­ing the work and let­ting it ma­ture

Pasatiempo - - Young Artists -

Joey Prince thinks Santa Fe is very much a young-artists town. It’s just that much of that art may not be vis­i­ble yet.

The Santa Fe-born pho­tog­ra­pher is work­ing on his bach­e­lor’s de­gree at the Col­lege of Santa Fe. Like many Santa Fe high-school grad­u­ates, he cut out of here right af­ter grad­u­a­tion; in 2003 he headed to Bos­ton to join a band (he played gui­tar at the time). But af­ter a few years on the East Coast, he re­turned.

“I came back not in­tend­ing to stay here,” the 23-year-old said. “I started tak­ing classes at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Col­lege and later at the Col­lege of Santa Fe. [CSF photography depart­ment chair] David Schein­baum and oth­ers have been great men­tors to me. I feel like Santa Fe is a great place to make work.

“I think a lot of teens do want to get out of here as soon as pos­si­ble, but once you leave, you re­al­ize how spe­cial Santa Fe is. But young artists are so anx­ious to get to the next step, to be rec­og­nized for their work. I feel there’s some­thing to be said for not wor­ry­ing about that stuff at our age. We should take more time to make the work and let it ma­ture, and Santa Fe is a great place to do that.”

Prince has been work­ing mostly in black-and-white, us­ing a Mamiya cam­era. He has never tried work­ing with a dig­i­tal cam­era. (“It’s all dark­room; I don’t even know how to use Pho­to­shop.”) Heav­ily in­flu­enced by such sur­re­al­is­tic pho­tog­ra­phers as Ralph Eu­gene Meat­yard and Arthur Tress, his work fo­cuses on ur­ban and ru­ral land­scapes in which his hu­man sub­jects— even if sur­rounded by other peo­ple — ap­pear very alone. That makes sense, given Prince’s creative im­pulses: “Photography, to me, is al­most self-ther­apy. It helps me vis­ually see the emo­tions I’m feel­ing. It’s a way for me to open up and ex­plore how vul­ner­a­ble I am.”

This past sum­mer he took part in Zac Schein­baum’s short­lived Pennbrick Gallery, which show­cased the work of young artists. “It was the most ex­cit­ing gallery I’ve ever been to — all about young artists, all do­ing great work,” Prince said.

He ac­cepts that the more es­tab­lished gal­leries in town rely on the work of more es­tab­lished artists. “I un­der­stand that; that makes sense. I’m still an un­der­grad; I’ve only been mak­ing pho­tos for a few years now.” But he can list a num­ber of young artists here work­ing in var­i­ous medi­ums and cre­at­ing their own venues, like Me­owWolf and The Hum­ble art col­lec­tive. Ware­house 21 was a ma­jor in­flu­ence for him as a teen, though he doesn’t hang there much any­more. The In­ter­net, he said, can give most artists a world­wide pro­file re­gard­less of where they live.

“There [are] op­por­tu­ni­ties here,” he stressed. “If you are in­ter­ested in photography and want to stay here, both the com­mu­nity col­lege and the Col­lege of Santa Fe have great fa­cil­i­ties and in­spir­ing teach­ers. And peo­ple are ex­cited about young artists— as long as you’re ex­cited.” He’s ex­cited. And for now, he’s stay­ing put in Santa Fe.

— Robert Nott

Clines Cor­ners

by Joey Prince

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