“I am not an adrenaline junkie, but I am someone who really appreciates really unusual places,” photographer Tod Seelie tells ANIMAL over the packed Superchief Gallery crowd. ”Sometimes, a certain amount of risk is required.”
Seelie’s Bright Nights: Photographs Of Another New York book has been released, documenting various New York “art collectives, subcultures, events and crazy happenings, personal portraits and abandoned buildings.” These are his friends scaling bridges, partying inside empty water-towers, crashing tall bikes on fire into each other and sailing rafts made of junk down the Hudson River. Shooting Swoon’s Swimming Cities of Serenissima with the Coast Guard and NYPD on their trail is one of Tod’s favorite memories from the past decade and a half.
When I first talked to Seelie about his work, he was on his way to a fireworks festival in Mexico, then some desert somewhere. I don’t remember. I do remember that the dude whose photos I’ve been wanderlusting over for close to a decade was so approachable. He’s very helpful with tips on exactly how to shoot some crazy basement show without getting your camera swatted down or how to ride your bike through a storm for four hours or hide from the cops in the field on an island by the abandoned mental hospital or whatever’s doing this week. You can tell from the book this guy’s a very professional adventurer. And he’s a really nice dude. Check the video.
Now he gets to do what he always wanted: “Live out of the back of van, wandering around America.” He’s going on the book tour next month, hitting New England in November, the East Coast in December and then aiming to drive across the US to the West Coast in the Spring. The tour kicks off at Brooklyn’s Silent Barn on November 7th with Japanther, The So So Glos, Unstoppable Death Machines, Ken South Rock, and Amour Obscur.
(Video: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)