Ed Ruscha's Monster Children Cover by Mike Piscitelli
Mike Piscitelli photographed artist Ed Ruscha in L.A.'s Gagosian Gallery for the latest issue of Monster Children. "In a way, it was the most intimidating shoot I've ever done," admitted Piscitelli. "He was extremely nice and laid back, but he has a painting hanging in the White House — to me, that's more intimidating than being in the presence of whom others would call a celebrity."
In lieu of giving direction, Piscitelli chatted with Ruscha throughout the session, likely to put both men at ease. "Ed has done and seen a lot, and though I had two hours scheduled with him, I only shot for fifteen minutes," he noted. "[Ruscha] was open and giving as a subject. I think with age and men, especially, their personality emerges quickly. I enjoy taking images of people who have lived more of life than I have." Piscitelli used some of his remaining time to look through the Gagosian's archives. "It's an art-world institution," he remarked. "That was one of those days I kept thinking, 'Huh, my job is awesome.' "
The black-and-white portrait marks his second cover in as many months for Monster Children – and a stark contrast to his Jessica Hart images. "Every shoot is different," he said. "It's not about trying to one-up the last set of images. I just make photos that I like."