MEET THE ARTIST - ROSE HARTMAN - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
I WANTED TO SHOOT THE " BIRDS OF PARADISE" WHEN THEY WERE MOST RELAXED
Rose, years after you shot your images, the people and places you have been photographing are called legendary. At the time, did you feel you were capturing a moment that would be considered so defining of the era? Was documentation part of your process?
RH: I always wanted to capture the luminaries of the day-Warhol, Lou Reed, Bianca & Mick Jagger. I spent hours reading about the people making news because of their talent, position in society, etc,
When I look back at your pictures, it seems as if you were intentionally selecting the gods and goddess of their times and where their Olympus was located – Bianca Jagger at Studio 54, Kate Moss at NYFW, Woody Allen shooting in NYC. How did you make the selection?
RH: I had contact with many publicists; ergo, invites to many fashion shows as well as behind the scenes; Steve Rubell, Studio 54’s co-owner generously invited me inside his magical club…Regarding my Woody Allen shoot, I was retrieving my locked bike when I realized he was working on a new film; I dashed home, a few minutes away from Gay St, and took a single shot.
Your photographs are showing the “beautiful people” at their finest, isolating them from their environment. The best examples are the images of Studio 54 which stand out from the other images taken at Studio by other photographers. Was it intentional?
RH: Definitely intentional…I never shot crowds (bored me); I wanted to shoot the" birds of paradise" when they were most relaxed.
Many of those pictures are taken from below, giving your subjects a sense of grandeur. Was it a style of the time?
RH: I simply wanted my chosen subjects to exude a sense of grandeur and intimacy so I shot them from below.
I did not think about it being a style of the time!!!
You were one of the first to go backstage, capturing the energy behind the scene of fashion shows. Why?
RH: I was always attracted to the controlled chaos and the transformation of models (or as I called them, “hothouse flowers”) into stunning creatures—more interesting than the shows themselves.
Why do you feel there is such major interest – and mystification of the 70’s today?
RH: Because people truly enjoyed themselves, freely expressed their emotions, were not controlled by “brands” advertising their products on huge banners or overreaching publicists.. A freedom that has never been duplicated—and sorely missed….