Nicky Lesser is a New York based photography student who has recently been interning with Ryan McGinley, meaning that like McGinley there are lots and lots of naked people in her photos. Tee hee.

My immaturity aside, I think  Nicky’s photographs are incredibly sophisticated and insightful, each image holding so much personality. Her photos already have a distinctive look and direction. Nicky Lesser really is one to watch.

She sent over an exclusive set for Platform and also kindly answered a few questions. Enjoy.

So tell us a little about yourself… what are you up to at the moment? Tell us what you’re listening to/ watching / reading / taking / smoking / having.
Its getting cold, I’ve have lots of work to do. I’m smoking lots of cigarettes, marijuana, taking riddlin, watching TV shows with no importance besides procrastination and insomnia. I want to read a biography on David Bowie. Listening to Eartha Kitt and Edith Piaf… Smashing Pumpkins…. and Sublime.

Where did you come from and what do you think about it? Where are your favourite places at the moment?
I am from Los Angeles, CA. I always wanted to get out of LA and had my heart set on NYC. It was great to get out. Now looking back on it, I have a refreshed viewpoint, and respect it for its beauty and good vibes.

I thought it was a very superficial place, but going back now is sort of nice, because it’s so different than NY (and has definitely got its own unique-ness). My favorite places at the moment are: Tennessee, New Mexico, Topanga Canyon, The Chelsea Hotel, etc.

You worked with Ryan McGinley for a while… Do you have any particular memories from the roadtrips?
Yes I have many memories. Its so much fun to travel on those trips, and makes up some of my fondest memories and experiences in different places and environments. Some of the strangest/most incredible situations come about that are so interesting and nothing you’d ever experience under any other circumstance. There are too many to describe just one.

Do you think working with him has changed your photographic aesthetic at all?
Yes, he has taught me so much, probably just as much if not more influential than what I’ve learned in school. I started working with him in my freshman year, and was probably very impressionable and experimenting with what I wanted to do. When I started trying out nude portraits, I think the fact that I was surrounded by his artwork and enthusiasm helped me form a genuine interest in it. I think that my work reflects his influence in a respectful way.

What’s your work about? Or even, do you think it’s important that your work needs to be ‘about’ anything at all?
Yes, I think it is important that artwork says something, has meaning, even if is not about something important or specific, the creator must be conscious of the decisions they make and do them for a reason, and hopefully that reason is worthy of pursuing and means more to more people than singular personal aspirations. Artwork can be a tool for expanding ideas and minds into understanding innovativeness and differences. My work is both very personal to me, and touches themes that feel need to be expressed within our generational people. Shedding light on Subcultures and iconographies of people are important to me, as representations of qualities outside of the norm.

Are your photos mostly set up and what is the thought process that goes into this?
Many times it is set up many times it is not. Lately especially, I have been planning things out ahead of time, get an idea and sketch it out, and then execute it. Once execution comes I let that ride out and see what happens. I try to carry around a camera everywhere too, so I get pictures from chance as well.




Thank you, Nicky.