ANDRE O’ GRAY
Born in Kingston Jamaica, Andre O’ Gray is a Boston based Photographer whose work has been featured in such magazines as Parle and Pump. His work effortlessly captures the glamorous yet gritty and urban vibe that has been so influential and relevant to fashion currently.
- There is a strong urban and hip-hop references in your work – is that something connect to on a personal level?
I do, I find that the most unique amalgamations of creative output flow freely from the platform and as such by its very nature; am encouraged to freshly portray my intent via an eclectic synthesis for the senses.
- There is also, of course, a strong connection to fashion – How has your experience been working with that industry? Any designers you admire or aspire to shoot?
Though I don’t consider myself to have yet dabbled deeply enough into it to deem myself as working within the industry, I must say that what I have experienced thus far has been pleasantly inspiring. I admire Dapper Afrika, Alexander McQueen, Eiko Ishioka, Vivienne Westwood, Jeremy Scott, Thierry Mugler, Rick Owens, Ralph Rucci, Ozwald Boateng & Christopher Hargadon.
- How would you describe your personal fashion style? Are you into fashion and shopping?
I actually don’t focus heavily on my personal fashion or shopping.
- Who are the photographers that you particularly admire? Who has been influential on your work?
Jean-Paul Goude, David LaChapelle & Guy Bourdin’s works have been extremely influential on me.
- Do you have a muse? How do you feel about the concept of an artist having a muse?
I don’t, however as it pertains to others who do; it’s all about whatever floats your boat!
- What about your background – how do you think that helps you in your art?
Access to specific of comics, cartoons, manga and anime mixed with my uncanny devotion toward them formed an inherent modus operandi that I channel whenever I create.
- Do you think art reflects the society and culture accurately and does it still influence people or holds the same power in today’s social media obsessed society?
I believe it still holds great influence. It all comes down to the eye of the beholder; their primed perception of it dictates how they react to it. One person’s gloomy Sunday, is another’s real life iPhone reduced screen brightness bliss.
- Tattoos have become an important expression of personal fashion – What are your views on that? Are you a ‘tattoo’ person?
Though I don’t currently have any, I’m definitely a Tattoo person.
- Film is another medium that has been adapted very successfully by artists and designers – where do see that relation head in the future?
I see future filled with an amazing abundance of cerebral picturesque epics adorning frames formally reserved for the sanctioned pieces done by the fine art masters of old as well as an conflation of hieroglyphics, street art and emoji components to create symbolic displays in an effort to effect a desired intent. Just as those in the past did with their means, so shall others.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
- Any films that have been influential on you, growing up?
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Once Upon a Time in the West, Suspiria, Vertigo, Akira were very influential to me.
- Masculinity has been in spotlight a lot in the last decade? Which famous personality or fictional character in your opinion defines the contemporary macho man – what makes him macho?
I think the current iteration of Carl Lucas aka Luke Cage represents this macho ideal best, he’s extraordinarily powerful and yet generally chooses not to take the might makes right approach to life, the exception being of course to right a wrong and even so he doesn’t needlessly go overboard with his actions. In short he has to the power to dominate, but strives to live a live and let live life.
- Do you like this new Macho or do you prefer the classic ‘old school’ male?
To be frank, I’ve never given it thought outside of your query.
- How do you approach your female subjects? How do you see them in comparison?
I layout the vibe I’m going for, leaving from for the subjects input also. Once we secure the key looks I have in mind, we then work to capture some freestyle variations. Each subject is vital to taking things from concept to conception – we are equals.
- There is always a big debate on the role of the ‘Art School’ with strong cases for both ‘for’ and ‘against’ it. Where do you stand on it? Is art education still valuable or is it a ‘dying beast’?
Considering I did not attend art school, I am unable to provide a definitive answer ether way. For speculation sake however, I will share the following. It seems to me some may need that type of environment to find their footing and formalize their grand vision, tearing down such institutions may be to the detriment of those who fall in said category. I have friends who praise art school and others who consider it as exceedingly stifling.
- Should Art be ‘funded’?
I believe so.
- What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The all around overwhelming boost in support my work has been getting in this year!
- What is next for you? How do you see your work developing in the coming years?
I plan on putting on showcases of pieces I’m currently working on and getting into animation and film.
- What’s your favorite Halloween costume?
Twisty the Clown.
- What’s on your music playlist these days?
Justice – Brianvision, Daft Punk – Night Vision (The Twelves Cover), Daft Punk – Nightvision, Power Glove – Death of a Cyborg, Elliot Goldenthal – Victorious Titus, Riz Ortolani – Oh My Love – feat. Katyna Ranieri, Luis Enríquez bacalov La Corsa (2nd version), Bernard Herrmann – Scene D’Amour, Charles Bernstein – Bath Attack & Ennio Morricone – Man with a Harmonica
Image 1: Creative Direction & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model, MUA, Styling & Designer Tabbytha Janeen
Image 2: Creative Direction, Graphic Apparel Desi
gn & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model, MUA & Styling Jennifer Evie
Image 3: Creative Direction & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model, MUA & Styling by Director Joanne Elie
Image 4: Creative Direction, Styling & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model NaturallyJess
Image 5: Creative Direction & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model, MUA & Styling by Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Elsie Gray
Image 6: Creative Direction & Photography by Andre O Gray. MUA, Styling & Model; American Multimedia Artist Chrystyne
Image 7: Creative Direction & Photography by Andre O Gray. Model, MUA & Styling Jennifer Evie