Five Minutes With... Douglas Kirkland
Talk us through your ideal lazy Sunday morning...
I usually wake up fairly early in the morning even on Sunday. My wife, Francoise, brings me a cup of coffee in bed, lucky me. I open the curtain and glass door onto our sunny garden. We live in Southern California. Then I read the only paper we get regularly, the Sunday New York Times. After that I enjoy reviewing everything we have going on and what is coming up in the near future with Francoise. From this, we emerge with ideas of projects we would like to do and places we would ideally like to go to. It is a very comforting and creative process which we both enjoy.
Who’s the person that has inspired you most in your life?
My wife. We have been together close to 50 years. Francoise’s cultural background and understanding of art and life have always been a vivid influence in the world we have constructed together. She is my muse and my colleagues jokingly refer to her as my secret weapon! The work ethic imposed to me by my family as I was growing up in Canada has been one of the driving forces in my life.
When was the first experience of a photograph you took that really affected you?
When I was ten years of age, on cold Christmas morning in Southern Ontario, I was allowed to use my family’s Box Brownie for the first time in front of our house and the dreams all started with that first click.
What do you remember about that shoot? Why did it speak to you?
Within six years, I saw my first color cover on the Rotogravure Section (now called the Sunday Magazine) of the Buffalo Courier Express, a picture of a neighbor standing with his skis on bright sparkling morning overlooking “Frenchman’s Creek”. My dream had even grown bigger and now suggested that photography had the possibility of carrying me to many exotic worlds if I really had good luck and applied myself.
When you look at a piece of art how do you decide whether you like it?
It is an instant response, like a scent in the air, emotional and instinctive.
Is today’s modern art comparable to the great masterpieces of the past?
Art is subjective. Who are we to decide what is art or not?
When you’re not working how do you like to relax?
I like to collapse in a comfortable chair and think of the possibilities that exist in future work projects.
And finally, what would your three magic wishes be?
Continued inspiration, harmony and love. In other words for my world to continue building in the same positive manner.