My full name is Marcel Jacques Castenmiller. My Parents are from The Netherlands (Dutch). My Father being of Dutch background and Mother half Indonesian and half Guyanese. They immigrated to Canada and in Edmonton, Alberta I was born. I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia where I went to school and studied Fine Art and Photography at Emily Carr. In 2007 I worked for Ryan McGinley both as a model and a photo assistant and this lead me to moving to Brooklyn from Vancouver and signing with a modeling agency. I’m currently still modeling but have been heavily focused on my photography.
When was the first time you started to grow an interest in photography?
Probably when I first tried a camera. I was in third grade in Elementary school. There was a beautiful red haired girl and on a roadtrip I took her photograph with a disposable camera. I was obsessed with the process and kept the photo on me at all times. I think it creeped her out…
Did you study photography by yourself?
I learnt a lot in highschool and at University, however, I learnt a lot more working for professionals in NY such as McGinley, Ari Marcopoulos, David Armstrong, Brett Lloyd, Ben Rayner and Sofia Malamute.
What are you making now and what is the theme and message of the work?
I have been working on zines for a couple of years and I hope to one day have a solid edit to do a solo show accompanied by a book. My message is always about how fragile and beautiful the world is and now lonely and loved and yet sad all at once it can seem.
I especially love your “personal” series( 35mm film ) What’s that series’s message/theme?
I feel there is a lot to appreciate being an animal on such a special planet like Earth. Things that are beautiful can be falling in love with someone, the sun at a certain time of day lighting up a certain part of the street or even something simple like an everyday object. I like to stop and appreciate anything that may catch my eye and document my views and experiences.
How was your exhibition?(If you had an recently.)
My most recent exhibit would be one in Miami Art basel a friend put together in a hotel room at the Standard hotel. I had two large prints laid out across the bed. I had a great experience there and the reception was very positive.
Which artists inspire you?
I am very inspired by Araki Nobuyoshi. Mind you, I would point out that it’s the combination of all this work rather than specifically nudes. The nudes don’t always inspire me as nudity can sometimes take from a photograph. And our obsession voyeurism is such a monster of a topic. But his work is so precise and magical. Some of his photobooks that have his pictures of his cat, random objects and then a close up of a girl’s vagina can all seem so related and perfect but still so lost and chaotic. I am also a huge fan of Hiroji Kubota, Ari Marcopoulos, Takashi Homma, Peter Hujar, Patrick Tsai and many more.
Would you like to shoot or have an exhibition in the other country?
If so, Where do you want to go?
I would love to shoot in Iceland or Switzerland.
For showing work I would hope one day I can exhibit in Paris or Tokyo.
What is your next project?
I am doing an issue of Spotzine which will be out soon.
What kind of camera do you use and why?
My camera selection changes every couple months. Either they break or I am interested in a new one. I can sort of be ab obsessive collector also. At the moment I have with me a Pentax KX (35mm) and a Leica C1. Last year I would have had a Leica M6 and a Ricoh GR1V. Ultimately if I can afford it, I would like to stop my searching and just have a Leica MP with a 35 lens and a Konica Big mini.
Is there anything you are particular about in regards to printing?
Mostly the condition of the print when it is being displayed, how it is framed or hung and where it is located. Size, borders, quality can all matter also but depend on the circumstances.