We had the good fortune of connecting with Gary Glasser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gary, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up there during the 70’s and was exposed to a lot of interesting and enlightening sights and sounds. From Green Peace, Noe Valley Street Fair’s, the SF “hippie: cultural, the growing voice of LGBQT and gallery shows from Varga, Jim Dine and Robert Mapplethorpe. Somewhere during this time I began to “see” more, that my internal vision was seeing art no matter where I looked. My mind kept framing everything as a photograph. In my teens I was drawn to work by Civil War photographer Mathew Brady, but not just for his documentation of the war but the black and white photographs themselves. That aesthetic spoke to me. Of course I was inspired and enlightened to the works of Ansel Adam’s as well. In the 90’s I decided to take some college photography courses. During this time one of my photography professors was Geir Jordahl whose infrared work to this day still keeps me inspired.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My photography has been mostly capturing the graffiti and murals of Denver. Throw in some modeling gigs as well a few artistic shots that I liked the look and or feel of at the time. My journey into my photography/art is still a journey and still an education. I am still in class. I am still discovering many technical aspects such as software, camera and lighting. While I continue to shoot models as well as graffiti, I am noticing a change in humanity itself, and a reflection within me as well. My internal shot ideas are changing from the physical concepts of shooting a human to more of an emotional one. Watching this change in life artistically as a photographer as well as human has given me pause, and I see a fork in the road and asking myself if I should follow more of a human archiver and or continue to be an “anarchiver.” (I am the Anarchivist, its meaning: Archiving the anarchy of artists spray painting cold concrete walls in Denver) I am also a fan of and love to shoot “urbex.” Or simply, the decay of our surroundings. The graying and weathering, the rusting of what was new and fresh. I don’t just shoot because I like to, I shoot because I feel I have to.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My real job takes me all over the city and often I run into tourists. Of course they ask about places to go and see. I also receive emails and texts from visiting graffiti and mural artists as well as enthusiasts of the wall art in Denver. They ask to see a certain piece on a wall they saw in my IG. They don’t realize that the wall or art piece specified has been painted over several times already. So, I have to unfortunately let them down. They are still coming though, so I give them the location of the popular walls and alleys that are visited dozens of times a day. I do ask them if they want a side tour, the somewhat hidden gems, the lesser known areas, the obscure and they quiet walls. We will meet at an easy to find location. I will then take them outside of 5 points because everyone else goes there. We will walk down train tracks for a quarter of a mile, hike across a field that’s pocked with car seats and couches. I will take them down embankments to tunnels and underneath bridges. I will make them physically tired and visually full. Their comfort zone will be slightly misaligned but after, we will eat at their friends recommendation who visited Denver before. We will see if they are up for day two…
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is a great question and one that I wish I can speak on for days. My college photography professors obviously for making me do the work. Oh, and how about my parent’s saying stop taking so many pictures because film is expensive to have processed at the drive up FOTOMAT booth. This kid with his Kodak 110 camera likes being told no. How about liking the smell of a freshly printed Polaroid photograph of my grandfather’s Polaroid 320? Hmm..or maybe its the mural and graffiti artists here in Denver who took the time to say thank for taking pics of their great and colorful art. (Thank you EAST, EMIT, THINK26 and GAMMA and many others)
Artists: BITS, Think26, TASTE,GROPES, Bella and Phame Models: Nicole, Cat **All photographs are mine.