Timothy Saccenti

New York-based photographer Timothy Saccenti made his name documenting the Downtown music scene

Photographer Timothy Saccenti’s love of music has led him to specialise in creating portraits of recording artists such as Beans and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. “I feel an affinity with many of the musicians I photograph, so I believe that helps me to create images of them that they feel are representations of their intention, or at least my version of it,” he tells us.

That affinity comes from being involved with music and musicians since he first arrived in New York City as a 19 year-old from New Jersey in 1993. “Just as I arrived, in the early 1990s, there was an explosion of amazing music. The people making it were localised in the downtown area and we all worked on each other’s projects, music and visuals,” he recalls. “I got involved in making visuals for underground parties, mainly comprised of found footage – as well as a bit of djing. This love of music, plus an interest in science, led to experimenting and creating non-camera photographs using techniques such as the photogram and the more experimental Kirlian technique, where you expose the paper to electricity to create an image.”

It was at this point that Saccenti and his collaborators started to add subjects to their images and began to create commissioned artist portraits. A stint at the School of Visual Arts was cut short when Saccenti decided he’d learn more as an assistant to professional photographers. By 2003 it was time to commission an identity for himself as a photographer.

Which is how Build came to know Saccenti’s work. “Being a big design fan, I had known Build’s work,” reveals Saccenti. “They’d recently done some great work for the Brooklyn-based Record Camp label whose parties I would occasionally DJ at,” he continues, “so it was through them that I contacted Build who agreed to create an identity for me. Michael’s been making me look good ever since.”

Recently, Saccenti has been moving into directing music videos. We featured his mirror-box video for Atlas by Warp Records act Battles here in CR in our March issue. Currently he is working on a music video for band Animal Collective as well as finishing some portraits of musicians Ulrich Schnauss, Baby Elephant (Prince Paul) and Patrick Wolf.

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