Ben Rayner’s Stolen Moments

07.01.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Ben Rayner first made a name for himself photographing artists and musicians for Dazed & Confused and VICE, before transitioning into fashion photography. He has since become a regular fixture of magazines like Wonderland and Vogue. His talents have united him with the likes of Bella Hadid, ASAP Rocky and Alexa Chung, but he has always maintained an interest in producing his own personal work. Ben has published numerous zines and several monographs in the past. His latest project is a book made up of casually shot photographs that realise his aims of producing a photo diary of his day. Aptly named ‘Half Day’, the images have been shot in multiple locations and use an array of different formats, capturing fleeting and intimate snapshots of Ben’s life. Twin spoke to Ben about stealing moments, living in New York and the future. 

Tell us about your new book.

The book is a monograph of moments photographed during 2014 and 2015. It’s made up of abstractions, portraits and landscapes. It’s a snapshot of the world as I saw it in those moments. I’m always taking pictures, so after I amass a collection of work I try to put it together in a somewhat coherent way. The book kind of has a fluid narrative of stolen moments in time.

Why did you decide to name the book ‘Half Day’?

I wanted to call the book ‘Half Day’ because it sounded optimistic and is a reminder that you still have half a day left.

A lot of your work has maintained a focus on fashion in the past. How does ‘Half Day’ divert from that?

I shoot a lot of fashion, but have always photographed everything around me. This is my fourth monograph and first hard cover book. I have also published countless zines. To me all my work is a reflection of my view of the world. I think some fashion images could have been dropped into the sequence of this book and still would have made sense. I like to steal moments from people and from the world.

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Your photos have been described as ‘stopping time’ as opposed to capturing it. Why do you think that is?

I think sometimes I see things that other people don’t see, like a person’s fleeting expression. My aim is to connect with whoever and whatever I am shooting. I love photographing everyone, from famous models like Alice Dellal and Bella Hadid to actors and chefs.

You made the transition from London to New York. Do you think the change is reflected in your work? If so, how?

I don’t think so really. The images in this book are not very New York heavy. I tend to photograph things more where I don’t live. Although, I have been photographing my personal work in New York a lot more in the last few months. 

What’s next for you? 

I would like to do some still life photography, and more fashion stories, portraits and personal books. I have lots of ideas. I would also like to do a lot more video work in the future.

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Half Day is available to order now.

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Dani Miller: ‘Where the freaks at?’

02.09.2016 | Music | BY:

For the latest issue of Twin – issue XIV – we chronicled some of the most exciting female figures in the music industry to be aware of, right now. One of these girls, was 22-year-old Dani Miller, lead singer of the riotous band SURFBORT, who fills our Instagram feeds with infectious mayhem under the guise @alienzarereal. Here, we discover a little more about what makes this brilliant young woman tick.

Where are you from?
California.

What was it like growing up there?
I learned how to chill hard, smoke a ton of weed and dodge beach jocks.

Where do you now live?
Brooklyn, New York.

Why do you like it?
It’s nasty, full of dreamers and magical aliens that constantly are creating and loving each other. The streets are alive and make me feel an electricity that is specific to New York. Also the weather is nice, the blazing heat cooking the rats and puke right onto the sidewalk wakes me up and influences my art in a completely different way than the art I make in the slushie ice queen winters. It really mixes my world up.

Where did you study?
San Francisco, but do not plan on returning anytime soon. I hate that the tech industry has taken over, especially when it so concentrated and sterile. It’s just making everything boring and shitty. You could really say that about a lot of areas. Rich people who don’t understand the arts just pollute the world with ugly establishments and ugly energy. Where are the freaks at?

What did you study?
Film.

What did you learn?
I have always been constantly making films and imagining how passing moments would translate onto the screen. but what I learned the most was about gender studies and I discovered I wanted to make experimental films that wake people up and inspire them to create positive change in one’s society/world.

Describe what you do for a living.
I am the lead singer in SURFBORT, I am also a director and set designer and I DJ for my Jarritos™ and pizza budget.

Why did you want to do that?
Singing, screaming and laughing on stage is such good therapy and it gives me a voice in the community. I enjoy bringing friends and people together. One: to have everyone realise they aren’t alone in their suffering and that we can all dance and run around and scream to let our frustrations out together, this is a fucked up world. Two: I enjoy that being in a band lets me publicly address things that matter to me like pollution and exposing the fucked-up government.

Do you think you’ll do it forever?
I will always create forever. I will always sing my poetry and thoughts into the universe.

Did anyone inspire you to do what you’re doing?
Patti Smith and Exene Cervenka, but my loneliness and sadness inspired me the most.

DANI_MILLER

Dani Miller by Ben Rayner for Twin

What are you currently working on?
Just finished recording a 7” with SURFBORT. Have been working on another project where I also sing, called Hippie Vomit Inhaler. I am making a film about a post-apocalyptic New York where the water supply is so toxic it drugs people, and a group of women plan a trip to a “magical milk mother” in the city who will trade holistic healing crystals and potions to counteract the poison coming from the water supply. In return for putrid milk from the last remaining cows in the country,which are located in Brooklyn.

What would you like to work on?
Finding more time to paint in my basement.

Is there anyone you’d love to work with?
Nickelback, Slipknot, Patti Smith.

What are you the most proud of so far?
Doing what makes me happy – which is art – and surrounding myself with magical witches and wizards.

How would your friends describe you?
Alien.

How do you think a stranger would describe you?
Fucking psychotic angel.

Would you say you have a ‘look’?
My “look” is comfort, things that make me go “hahaha”: ’70s, up tha punx. I basically don’t really give a fuck and I think it is important for any human to look the way that makes them feel electric. I am missing teeth, very hairy everywhere, and love wearing anything that makes me laugh and that’s what makes me feel good. A “feel-good look”!

How important is your image to what you do?
My image is important to my art because being in the public eye coincides with exposing a certain type of freak to the world, and letting other young women who look up to you or identify with the same type of alien I do that it is completely acceptable to be yourself. Shave or don’t shave, be toothless, wear clown clothes. Say R.I.P. to caring or letting toxic media define you.

How important is social media to you? What do you like and dislike about it?
I use it for a joke and to connect to other people and laugh at current events of the day. I also just enjoy seeing my friends paintings especially @chaka_sean. On the @therealsurfbort Instagram I am more political and point out how idiotic many of the current politicians are. The main things I dislike about social media is when people use it in an abusive ways to personally attack or shame each other. I also hate that Instagram over-sexualises women’s bodies and shames them into thinking their bodies don’t belong to them. There are a lot of negative things to say about social media because it can be extremely narcissistic and known to rot brains, but I overall just acknowledge that it is a powerful tool and it usually brings me more smiles and laughs than anything else.

What pisses you off the most?
Donald Trump and violence.

What makes you happy?
My puppy and Mom.

All images by Ben Rayner, exclusively for Twin. Benrayner.com

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Twin Issue XIV

19.05.2016 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

Spanning the realms of music, art, film, literature and fashion – Issue 14 is an exploration of the female perspective: From Alexa Chung’s personal musings on the pull and perversity of astrology, to director Elizabeth Wood’s controversial position of power within new Hollywood. We also see girl-of-the-moment Heather Kemesky shot by Maciek Kobielski while swathed in every day detritus, meet actress on the rise Anya Taylor-Joy, discover Louis Vuitton’s cosmic universe through the lens of Juergen Teller and dismantle ‘black sheep feminism’ with the work of artists Betty Tompkins, Joan Semmel, Anita Steckel, and Cosey Fanni Tutti. Ben Rayner also photographs some of the most exciting musicians to be following right now.

BUY

alexa

janeke

matteo

maciek

BUY

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