Interview with Horst Friedrichs, an international photo-journalist for many important magazines.
WSI: Can you give a brief account of your work and professional experience?
HF: I am a storyteller and image maker with a camera. The more I got involved in photography the more I branched out into documentary and portrait photography.Then working as a freelance photo-journalist for Max, Rolling Stone and the New York Times. But always worked on my own book projects and exhibitions. My own projects are about appropriation and identity, the tension between conformity and freedom. Using a visual language that goes beyond fashion and trend, my photos capture the potential of expression through style; the potential of individuals to communicate powerful statements using the body - clothes, hair, and tattoos - as medium. The people in the photographs are always authentic; they are given a quality of attention traditionally reserved for celebrities.
WSI: Can you illustrate the contents of the book Pride and Glory and how it was born?
HF: The special focus of this book is the Rockers jacket and in particular the black leather motorcycle jacket - a highly evolved sartorial blend of form and function and a recognised design classic. It was this mixture of attitude and craftsmanship that led me into the Pride and Glory book. But the main drive was my Creative Director Lars Harmsen. He asked me if I would like to do a book about the Rockers' jackets during the Rockers Reunion in Brighton 2010.
WSI: Which aspects do you consider to be most significant and why?
HF: T is an important cultural work while at the same time producing memorable and artistic portraits. Persuading the owners to reveal their private rituals in dress and style. For example I had exclusive access to the Lewis Leathers archive with never-seen-before vintage jackets. Pride and Glory offers a beautiful insight into the revival Rockers' scene in England.
WSI: What kind of message do you convey?
HF: Identity, style and freedom, because I believe that almost all the fashion images I see today show little or no interest in the fundamental role of fashion, which is personal expression.
WSI: What was the inspiration behind your work and what did you hope to achieve with it?
HF: It is this key elements (identity, style and freedom) that excites me the most about fashion and it appears to be the most ignored element in today's fashion magazines. For me, it marks a complete disconnect with men who are passionate about clothing and style.
WSI: At what kind of readership is you work aimed?
HF: To many different ages and people but mainly misfits and trouble-makers.
WSI: Do you see Pride and Glory as contributing to an ongoing public debate of some kind?
HF: It was interesting to see the impact the P&G book had on worldwide biker culture specially young people are starting to participating in such rebel subcultures. This is beautiful !
WSI: In conclusion, could you mention what projects you have for the future?
HF: Fashion is the core of my next project, a book on the 1960s boutique BIBA, which has come about the friendships with two Biba collectors.