Wussy of the Month returns to showcase local queer cuties we've got our sights on!
Jody Fausett is Atlanta's sweetheart.
Born and raised in Georgia, this photographic artist has some of the most captivating artwork that's currently coming from the south. Plus, he's real cute and represented by one of Atlanta's most prestigious galleries—Jackson Fine Art.
WUSSY caught up with Fausett to get more background on his work and see what projects he's currently working on.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in North Georgia in a small town at the foothill of the mountains. As a kid I played in a cow pasture filled with creeks behind my grandparents’ house. On the flip side I would spend weekends working on Dynasty and Dallas montages with two hooked up VCRs instead of going to the Friday night football games. Being interested in imagery I found my way to photography. As a teenager I made a visit to the Art Institute of Atlanta and after the tour saw girls all in black smoking cigarettes and thought “this is what I have been looking for.”
After school, I moved to New York, got a job at Industria Superstudio working in the equipment room, then nudged my way in to assisting photographers. The husband of one of the photographers was a rep and decided to take me on after seeing me hustle on an assisting job. I slowly starting shooting fashion, music and advertising jobs while I would return to my hometown and photograph my family in Georgia. Later I found out I wasn't wired for New York City life so I returned home and made my personal work my priority. A team I used to collaborate with in Brooklyn for ad work, GHava, chose to publish my book featuring photos of my family called Second Place. Now I am with contemporary photography gallery Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta.
What sparked your interest in photography?
I avoided high school art class because the teacher thought Jody was a girl so to avoid daily conversations on trying to remind him otherwise I dropped out. Knowing I wasn't going to be a Future Farmer of America I thought I could try and be a writer for the yearbook staff. You had to submit to and be accepted by the A-list Seniors and I was denied. So I thought the following year I could try for staff photographer since there was an opening. My stepdad helped me build a black and white darkroom and I applied again and got on staff. From there on it was hobnobbing with the reigning Miss Dawson County and her crew and navigating football players who would settle for their sports records being emblazoned on film instead of knocking my block off. This was 1990 and my inspiration look for the school annual was Herb Ritts.
Can you tell us about your latest project?
My hometown, family and familiar spaces have alway been favorite topics to play with in my photos. Now I am using clothing and props from my past and reworking them into what I am shooting now. When I chose to break away from commercial work I took on a job as a gardener with a small company on the Westside. I use the leftover plants and flowers to build sets in my backyard that I let grow wild for a season and then photograph with my friend, artist Kirstin Mitchell, in my Grandmother’s vintage clothes. She poses and crushes the flowers against a black backdrop I hang so the set falls off into space. Kirstin takes on personas for her own work so it has been a great collaboration with her. Later on the computer I plan to combine the sets in a toile wallpaper pattern to line the walls for my next series.
What are you working on now?
My boyfriend Bret Busch just released an album called Pills, Lace & Confetti that I shot the artwork for. Now I am trying my hand at shooting a video for the first time for one of the tracks. Growing up in the age of MTV I was studying David Fincher’s videos for Jody Watley and Madonna. So decades later, I am trying to see what I can pull off with a budget of a hundred dollars. If all fails visually I usually pour some gasoline on the set and light it. A fire is usually a winner for me in a shot.
When you're not working on a project, what can we expect to find you doing?
I have been known to enjoy a beer while watching television. I hang out with friends and talk about making things and how we can make money off those things. I like a glue stick, a cut-up magazine and glitter.
Also, I am on the steering committee for Idea Capital which rewards Atlanta artists for innovative and provocative projects that may not get funding elsewhere. Grants ranging from $500-$2,000 can really change the course of somebody work. This has been incredibly fulfilling to see and I am grateful to be a part of the team.
What are you listening to?
Chromatics, Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey
All photos by local visual artist, Aboubacar Kante.
Check out more of his work HERE.