Vice photo editor and BFA Photography faculty member Matthew Leifheit recently spoke to a packed room at SVA about his personal projects, his experience at Vice and the state of contemporary photography. The talk was hosted by MPS Digital Photography and was the final i3: Ideas, Images and Inspiration lecture of the summer.
Leifheit discussed everything from his collaborative series of still-lifes with artist Cynthia Talmadge, to the influence of photographer Peter Hujar and artist David Wojnarowicz on his work. Leifheit was particularly candid about his fear of the Internet’s influence over photography. Not that he is against apps like Instagram (he is an avid user, and, as his website says, he takes Instagram “pretty seriously…but not that seriously!”). But, while Leifheit expressed wariness on the “glut” of images, he was optimistic that now more than ever there is a strong demand for “authored” perspective.
Which is one of the reasons he began publishing Matte. Inspired by legendary DIY ‘zine Punk and evolving from his photographic sketchbooks, Leifheit publishes the work of established and lesser-known artists alike. Dedicating each issue to a single artist, Matte highlights professional and artistic work of all levels, and has published the work of photographers Steve Pyke, Ilona Szwarc (BFA 2013 Photography), Kyle Laidig and BFA Photography student Sam Clarke, among others.
The i3 lecture series returns on Tuesday, September 15, with fine art photographer and video artist Max de Esteban.
Photos from top down: Matthew Leifheit, Vice, April 2015 issue cover; Matthew Leifheit and Cynthia Talmadge, Vanity, 2014, C-print; and issues of MATTE magazine.