Friday, October 30, 2009


Earth wind, self portrait with paint

Our Second in a Series: Model Cosmo MacDonald
From a Distance—London to New York





Full Name: Cosmo MacDonald

Age: 21

Homebase: London, England

How did you first fall in love with photography?

I ran around like crazy exploring this life, this consciousness. My father, who paints, and my mother, who gardens, gave me a camera and I started taking photos of what was around me.

Your work is quite personal, usually about love, friends and the physical landscape surrounding you. Why are you drawn to this subject matter?

It's easy to forget just how special this second, minute and day is in our lives, just being here, a celebration of life. My friends are great, my gang of golden pirates. Getting high and going on wild adventures. A creative freedom oozes out of us when we are together.

How did you learn photography? Was it through observation when modeling? Which photographer's work inspires you?

My father is an artist. I remember watching him as a little kid photographing his big canvases outside. He had this sequence photograph of four snaps showing his friend: in a big black coat, wild orange hair, smashing an old Tuscan vase on the verandah and looking onto Tuscan fields. That really inspired me. There were always cameras around. I enjoyed taking photos. I guess I learned shooting through adventure and my father.

There is a great group of photographers I am inspired by: Bruce Weber, Dash Snow, Peter Lindbergh, Miroslav Tichy, Harmony Korine, Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Larry Clark and Basquiat. The surrealist movement inspires me a lot as well: Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Aurel Bauh and Francis Bacon.

Which do you prefer-modeling or shooting?

I find inspirations in both equally.

Rainbow Ridge

What is your view of the modeling industry?

Fashion is a strange world. Pretentious grandeur is not really my thing. I don't really know that much, the mood can be pompous and patronizing. That should change. People shouldn't be working their asses off for nothing, for fashion's sake.

What has been the highlight of your modeling career thus far?

Shooting with Bruce Weber for Italian Vogue was special.

Is photography the direction you see yourself

heading after modeling?

Photography for sure. Visuals and music keep me alive.

We are seeing more and more models getting into photography. Is it easier to break into the industry, since, as a model, your foot is already in the door? Does having good looks make the process easier?

It's a world where aesthetics rule, a facade. This consumerism vacuum, this idea of flawless beauty is bombarding us everywhere we look.

There are a lot of talented people out there. I guess modeling does open up some doors to these different worlds. These days, anyone can be a photographer, it is much more accessible nowadays with digital photography. If anything, I hope it inspires new creative ideas and ways of collaboration.

How did you enter the world of modeling? If you hadn't, where would you be doing today? Would your life be very different?

I was working at shop in Hampstead on my lunch break, buying some pita and hummus in Tesco. This young lady was talking on the phone, then hung up and walked up to me. That was it. It came very randomly. Modeling never crossed my mind at all. For me, it had always been photography and going out. If I hadn't entered modeling, I would probably be in Argentina riding a Triumph motorbike to the shack on the hill.

Cosmo, Self Portrait

Traveling is always a big plus for any model. Which of the places you've visited were your favorites? Where would you like to go that you haven't been?

Naples was amazing. I would love to go to places like Madagascar, Africa, and Argentina.

What is your dream camera?

A fucked up dreamcatcher.

What is your craziest memory of shooting?

The English countryside, in some distant wood, completely wasted in the dawn fog. My friends ran down the green hill. I thought I was in Tibet, high up.

Your have been making short films for quite a while. How do you come up with the concepts?

It's the Psycho Honey Breeze—View one of the film below.

For additional films, please visit:

Define Psycho Honey Breeze.

Lust, harmony, freedom, youth, and hallucinogenics.


BENONI DAN POOL—In Milan, after a striking hot day of castings,

at my friend Benoni's hotel pool with Dan swimming,

feet dangling in the water, smoking cigarettes, drinking cold beer.

FLETCHER SUNDAY SUBSCRIPT—On a placid sunday, my

housemate is tranquilized in Xanax state.

We just smoked a joint. There he sat perfectly still, healing in the sun.

I don't think he even knew I was there.

69.jpg—My friends were all hanging out at my flat in London,

drinking whiskey and taking uppers. Everyone else was in the living

room dancing, Tatiana and Naomi were in the bed with Errol.

His girlfriend and the other girls came in and asked, "So what's going on in here?" It was a real funny moment. The pineapples came out that night.

CATHARTIC STRANGE—This was my first shot I took on a medium

format Mamiya 665e. Magnolias, fresh wind, long, skinny legs

under all the magnolia tress.

DAMA 4—Amanda and Marlee, beautiful and amazing couple,

playing in a small park on the monkey trees.

Looking out to London town. Gripping it by its balls.

In warmth of love and youth.

CORRUPT FRANCO—A collage I did in Milan. It just accidentally

came together in spirit of Italian corrupted politics,

and how grandeur can bring loneliness.

SUNG TOGETHER—At a dark sea during blue dusk, sitting out

in the garden with my friend, Giorgia, having tea and cake, and

nostalgia ripped through us. It was in this five story Georgian house

in Fitzrovia. My mum's friends had kindly let her stay while she was in London.

MARYAM AFTER SCHOOL—We realized we were neighbours.

We had coffee. We decided to have her dressed up in my clothes and

went down to the blue wall where the wind was blowing.


Christophe Sanchez-Vahle/Premier Model Management (UK); Agel Raya/NY Models (US)
MODEL: Cosmo MacDonald/Premier (UK) & New York (US)
COPY EDITOR: Brady Donnelly
Special thanks to Christophe Sanchez-Vahle at Premier (UK) for his long distance support and Agel Raya at New York Models (US) for Stateside support and to Cosmo MacDonald for providing and sharing his photography for this feature.

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