Over the last few years of doing the print exchange program i've notice more than anything that we have all become a big family and love the fact that we are all friends. I cherish everyone of you and love meeting print exchangers in person and putting a face to that return address! Yes its great to get photographs in the mail everyday and getting to see everyone become such good photographer! But increasingly i am more interested in who you are and what you do? Everyone is so different! Some months ago i was talking with with Sam Milianta about it and i asked him to come up with a few questions that we could send around to some of the longest running members of the P.E.P. to give you a better picture of who they are and how the P.E.P. has effected there lives.
For the first installment of WHO WE ARE? i chose Aaron Frisby because we have been exchanging since the beginning of the P.EP. and i am a huge fan of his photography and an even bigger fan of his paintings!
Sam: First off, tell us who you are and where you live?
Aaron: My name is Aaron Frisby and I live in Stillwater, OK.
S: How did you get involved with the Print Exchange Program (from the blog, had friends who did it, etc.)?
A: My buddy Brad Hayes told me about it. I feel he read about it in SLAP magazine, but I can't be for sure.
click read more below to see the whole interview, art & mail!!
S: What do you do for work?
A: For money, I work at our alternative high school teaching English and art.
S: Have you met anyone from the Print Exchange that you didn't know before? Do you have a story about it?
A: One day my wife called me at work asking if I knew why two guys would be one my front porch taking photographs..."One is wearing a Thrasher shirt.". I had no clue, but that detail made me feel like I shouldn't worry. They had tried the doorbell, but just stepping out of the shower, she wasn't answering. The gal called a tough neighbor to investigate and Ken Nagahara explained that he sometimes sent me postcards and was passing through town on a photo assignment with Douglas Adesko and thought he'd stop by. They decided to wait around and we ended up having dinner. It was great fun.
S: What is the most bizarre thing you've ever gotten in the mail (Print Exchange or otherwise)?
A:Hmmm...I guess I don't get bizarre things in the mail, but when I first got into the P.E.P. program I gained a photo of a busty gal from SF. When I got home my gal jokingly asked "Who's this slut?"
S: Share a favorite print that you have recieved (please include a scan, digital photo, cellphone pic, etc.)
insert photo here!--------------------
S: Is there anyone in the Print Exchange you're stoked on and you wish they'd send you more stuff?
A: I always dig it when Ken Nagahara sends me photos. Normally they are large. Another print ended up in Thrasher- a pic of Julien Stranger and Tony Trujillo next to a car crash. It really just puts a smile on my face whenever anything P.E.P. related comes around. Greg Hunt...he sent a shot from his Vans show...
S: How did you get into taking photos?
A: My mother was a newspaper photographer for a time, and there were always photos being taken throughout my life. It is hard to think of the time I decided that I needed to start taking them. I suppose I consider myself a "visual" kind of guy, so I have always embraced photography.
S: What is your best travel experience thus far?
A: Well, the past few years I have been very lucky when it comes to travel. The first big trip I took was a few years ago, for a month. I hit Amsterdam for a week, then flew to Kuwait to visit my brother, and then to Egypt. I floated down the Nile for a week and then hit Cairo. That trip changed my head. Two summers ago, my family made it to Spain, Italy, and France. That, too, blew my mind. Just this last summer I was able to spend a month in S. Korea as an artist-in-residence with a small gallery in Anyang. That, too, was wonderful. All that was really expected of my in a month's course was to have an art show. I met great folks and just spent the hot days painting. Dream world.
S: Tell a story about a photo you wish you'd taken (either you missed it or saw a photo someone else had taken).
A:This is about another's photo... When I was in Cairo, I found myself in the old market. I was warned about being careful and all that...Anyway- I saw a cool drawing in a shop and went in to look. I was asked what I was interested in. Being broke, but polite, I said I dug the drawing, but couldn't afford such. It was kind of like an antique store, with misc. items strewn about. I asked if they had any old postcards. The fellow said he thought he did and asked me to follow him upstairs. This was the situation some fellow travelers had warned me about. But, I was interested...
I went up to find two old guys sitting in a room in cool conversation. The kid told them I was looking for postcards and one of the oldies pulled out a shoebox. Mixed in with the postcards were a few photos, which I favored over the cards. I didn't have much cash on me and ended up buying a shot of what was described to me as an Egyptian slave gal, sucking on some sugar cane. It had a cool shadow and was very cool. What I wanted also, and the point of this answer, was a killer photo of a dog with its neck stretched up, like it was howling. It was very clean, with a white background, grand composition etc.... He wanted $8 and that would have left me with nothing for the rest of the day. I bought the slave gal shot and passed on the dog. I regret to this day not grabbing the dog too, and going with nothing.
S: Name five things/people that inspire you?
A:Inspiration- gee whiz... I get inspiration from so many sources... One would be art history. I study that stuff on my own. I have considered going back to school to study such, but haven't brought myself to it yet. I don't feel like telling someone WHY I like something. I just dig it. So, I am always looking to old things, old images. Right now, it is the surrealists. I used to consider them cliche, but now I am totally interested. Things become cliche for a reason...because they are good, great, grand. I just checked out a great book one three gal surrealists who hooked up in Mexico- it is called "Surreal Friends" and concerns Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Kati Horna. Wild gals...
Number two- tunes. Music moves me. As I type this, I am looking forward to a concert I will attend tomorrow: Other Lives and Colourmusic. Both of these bands were born in Stillwater and I have pals in each. Check each of them out. Music has always been important to me, though; I have special memories: I remember special ordering Dinosaur Jr.'s "Bug" from a tape shop in my hometown...I remember skipping school to buy the Cocteau Twins "Four Calendar Cafe" the day it was released...I used to be crazy about another Oklahoma band in high school- the Chainsaw Kittens. Eventually I befriended the lead singer (Tyson Meade, who is working on a new solo record), and we, along with Other Lives lead singer started a band for a week called the Winter Boys. We recorded a beautiful number called "Winter Boys Cutting the Rug". I play minimal drums. Type that into "bandcamp" and give it a listen...a slow, sad ditty.
Three- Skateboarding...I don't know that skateboarding inspires me...I think, rather, that I get inspired to go skateboarding. It has been a part of my world for years and years...
Four- and this is really all I need...Family and friends... I have a beautiful, wonderful wife and a perfect 14 year old daughter. I love what and where I came from: a family that has always supported and cared for me, continuing to do so, and just the best pals around.
S: What is your weapon of choice?
A: Weapon of choice...? Hugs and kisses. I wondered if you were being clever and really wondering what type of camera I use, but my mind just went to knives etc.
S: If one of us decides to come visit your town, where would you take us?
A: It depends. I suppose whoever would come, we'd end up eating, so I guess I'll answer "I'd take you to dinner." Since a handful of those I exchange with are skaters, I imagine we'd go skating. There is a small park near my pad, but I can have just as much fun around the corner...a manual pad...a small drop off...- I am old. The wind in my hair and the sound of rolling wheels is nearly good enough for me.
S: If you had to create a motto for the PEP what would it be?
A:I suck at stuff like this, so nothing. Just write P.E.P. / F.P.V. and the year. Good enough for me.
S: Random Shout-out section. Go.1. First off, tell us who you are and where you live?
A: 15. Well- I am glad/ thankful to you, JT, for dreaming this program up, Bradley Hayes for turning me onto it, all exchangers past and present, and the postmen and women around the world for handing over such delights.