Those People (Ben Sanders, Josh Schaedel, and a rotating group of various friends) is an art collective in Los Angeles that is preoccupied with the design and production of photographs for personal and commercial purposes, as well as general goof-ballery.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Those People is a collective in Los Angeles that we started in 2013. We both went to Art Center and ended up sharing a studio with a bunch of other artist friends in the L.A. art community. We started taking wacky photos as a way to have fun and do something outside our normal practices. Now we art direct and shoot photos for ourselves and for clients. Sometimes our friends join us on projects and become one of “those people”, hence the name. It’s like a gang. An art gang.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Lately, we’ve been shooting a lot of food stuff, mostly hamburgers, for The Oinkster, a restaurant in L.A. We also have ongoing projects shooting cocktails and Ben’s cactus pots for his “Pot Dealer” project. We have also been accidentally making non-objective photographs while building our sets. One day we will get enough to have a show of them. We also want to make a book soon of the cactus pot photos.
How did you first start working together? Ben was taking weird iPhone photos, but didn’t know anything about photography, and one day he asked Josh if he wanted to help shoot some real photographs. The first thing we did, with Ayumi, was shoot a really weird flyer for a party at our studio in Pasadena.
How has living in Los Angeles affected your practice? Los Angeles has a bunch of really great thrift stores, which is where most of the props we use come from. Ben goes to a thrift stores every week to sniff out the treasures. Also, the light is always bright and pretty good in our studio which gives our photos a pretty flat and graphic quality without much effort, which is nice because we don’t want to exert that much effort, we more just want to have fun. Lucky us!
What products or companies are you interested in right now? Acts Thrift Store on Hill and Locust in Pasadena. Google it!
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? We kind of wing it, honestly. We start with some kind of background, like a solid color, or a weird sheet, and then just sorta swap objects in and out until it looks good. If a decision looks good and makes us laugh, usually we go with that. As we said before, a lot of our props are from thrift stores and they are organized by color. We also have all kinds of tapes and colored and textured paper.
What artists or designers are you interested in right now? B: Jacob Lawrence, Elad Lassry, Tim and Eric, Alex DaCorte, Simon Porte Jacquemus, Math Bass, Leonard Knight
J: Robert Irwin, Olifur Eliasson, Larry Bell, Wolfgang Tillmans, John Divola, Paul Graham. I’ve also been really into what Mike Slack and Jason Fulford are doing at Ice Plant books.
What was the last show you saw that stuck out to you? Mike Kelley at MOCA because he made art in all different mediums and took on processes he was unfamiliar with. Also, James Turrell at LACMA made us want to quit art for about 2 weeks.
What is your beverage of choice when working in your studio? Good beer. Especially this one called Pranqster which is relatively inexpensive and very good. Highly recommended. Also, a lot of coffee.
What are you really excited about right now? LA Art Book Fair is coming up, and it is one of our favorite events in L.A., and a lot of our friends have booths there. We can’t wait to go and spend all of our money that we made photographing hamburgers.