Whether he’s shooting languid ladies, ominous landscapes or Pitchfork’s new favorite band, photographer Neil Krug is known to inject an essence of nostalgia and Americana into each image. His shots are vivid, full of saturated color and could just as easily feature in a contemporary magazine as your mother’s teenage photo album. The reminiscence in the photos can be credited both to his choice of models—dead straight hair and glowing sundresses are the epitome of timelessness—and film.
“I love medium format, Polaroid [and] 4×5,” Neil told us, “I’ve recently been shooting a ton of old B&W peel-apart film which has a fantastic mood to it. To me there is a magic in film that doesn’t exist in the digital world. It’s cheaper and faster to shoot digitally, but at the end of the day McDonald’s is also cheaper and faster. There’s never been a moment when I’ve wanted my work to look like real-life perspectives or situations. I would prefer for the work to come across like an illusion.”
Neil’s childhood growing up in the Midwest is evident in the majority of his catalog, particularly in his commissioned work that sees bands like Ratatat, The Horrors, Tame Impala and First Aid Kit transplanted into the often harsh American landscape. He explains to us that he has a “specific understanding of Americana in terms of how the iconography is imagined and remembered from the past decades. I think it’s important to revisit that iconography because it’s something that is as interesting from afar as it is when you’re living in it.”
As well as being a photographer, Neil is an accomplished filmmaker, having created music videos for the likes of White Flight, Ladytron, Dri and Boards of Canada that are dripping with his signature psychedelic aesthetic. Invisible Pyramid, a feature film he shot with Kalee Forsythe and Ainsley Burke, inspired his latest venture, an art book called The Embry Twins.
“The Embry Twins are two esoteric young women both portrayed by actress Ainsley Burke,” Neil explains, “In essence, they are travelers living a life counter to what society presumes with little to no code of morality when it comes to breaking the law and otherwise. Like previous work of mine, there is an element of alchemy that runs throughout the story… I wanted to do something similar in structure to Pyramid in terms of having a theme about “two girls having an adventure” but giving it the narrative of a 70′s French Horror film.”
The images in the book were shot “all over the deserts of California as well as the Chalk Badlands in the western regions of Kansas” and, when we asked whose coffee table Neil imagines his book appearing on, he told us, “I think Glenn Beck will be flipping through the book on his coffee table or TV tray once it drops.”