Art Basel Chat with Photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya
Ruvan Wijesooriya is super close with LCD Soundsystem. As their friend, confidante, touring buddy, and in-house photographer, Ruvan has captured LOTS of moments with the band, including a recording session in “The Mansion,” Rick Rubin’s Hollywood recording studio. The guys celebrated Ruvan’s latest book release, simply titled LCD, with a huge bash at Art Basel 2012. As the “man of the night,” Ruvan took a few moments with The Inside Source to discuss life on the road, recording ghost envy, and his next moves.
Jauretsi: Now that the book is being released, how many years had it taken for you to reach the end of this road? Looking back, how does it feel to see the body of work?
Ruvan Wijesooriya: It took me seven years. I like looking back through it because I can see myself getting to know photography through the years… [MORE] — like where the experimental side led and where the portraiture side became developed. You can also see the band getting older and more “adult.”
Q: You shot the guys recording in “The Mansion.” Did you ever encounter any ghostly vibes in the notorious home?
A: Yeah, we all wanted there to be ghosts more than there were, but there were certainly closing doors and stuff that was odd, but there was no proof of ghosts. We realized the ghost — if there was one — was gay and pretty psyched to have so many guys around. In 1913 or something the owner of the house killed one of the housekeepers for having an affair with his son. The overall vibe was great and it was kind of a juvenile time for everyone. Most of us were single dealing with recent breakups.
Q: Now that LCD is retired, what creative endeavors do you foresee they all will be moving towards now?
A: They’re all DJ’ing, that is for sure. Gavin and Matt Thornley are doing The Crystal Ark, Pat is doing sculpture again and being more of a family man. Nancy is DJ’ing and figuring out what else she wants to do. James is making films, producing songs for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and doing more individualistic projects that are taking him around the world.
Q: What do you look for on eBay traditionally?
A: Old film and weird cameras.
Q: What’s next on your plate?
A: I move to London in a few days to shoot a big project for Burberry. I’m also doing book projects about Sweden and another about Afghanistan. They could not be more opposite, Sweden and Afghanistan. There’s a yearbook I came up with and shot in Afghanistan that someone else will be releasing in the next two months.
(Photo: 1. Book Cover 2. Nowness Feature. Both courtesy of Ruvan Wijesooriya. To purchase the book, $29.95, visit Powerhouse Books)