Sean Maung is from LA, lives New York City, and takes photos in both cities and other places in between which he publishes in his zines like Screw York City, and City of Angels. We could try to describe his art and say something quasi-profound about cracking myths, grimy hagiography, and the art of the unposed portrait but instead we had him send samples of some of his L.A. work so you can see for yourself. Check out his website for more info, and keep reading for a Q&A and gallery of photos, which you should to click on to expand.
What’s your favorite taco spot?
The grand central market in DTLA.
What camera(s) do you use?
I use an olympus om 1 and a contax t2. But I would like to emphasize it really aint about the camera as much as it is about your content. There are some people out there with nice/expensive cameras that aren’t shooting shit and there are people that have love and passion for the art and are taking amazing flicks on whatever they can get there hands on.
Where do you want photography to take you?
Every time I go out shooting, the camera has taken me and put me into so many random worlds and experiences. The camera is an extension of what I am interested in, what I am fascinated with. The camera is tool for me to make connections with people and place.
On your zines you have an email address for contact/collaboration, what kind of emails do you get?
I usually get people giving me love and props. But I also give almost everyone I take a flick of my email so i can send them a copy of the pic i had took of them . I remember one time i saw a girl on the subway. and i asked her if i could take a flick cuz i felt her style. she was cool with that and i told her to email me so i can send her the pic. she emailed me a couple days later and asked if i would be down to take pics of her in lingerie. i wasn’t sure what she was about. was she trying to be freaky? was trying to rob me? did she just want some pics for her portfolio? she was from jamaica queens and i ended up meeting her in downtown brooklyn and we went to a cheap chinese motel in sunset park. i ended up just taking up some pics of her in lingerie and nothing past that. i thought that was cool she hit me up for something like that even though she didn’t know me.
Who are your subjects? Do you think about them often?
the people i shoot are anybody i believe that has character. Im drawn to timelessness and contradiction. I am also attracted to people/culture/sub-culture that go against the mainstream, manufactured american image that is presented to us on the media.
What music do you listen to?
I’m down for whatever. as long as it has passion and soul. I love 2pac. I love the oldies that Art Laboe would be playing on sunday nights. Coltrane and Davis, Electro-funk, Mary J Blige, 50’s rock n roll. Eazy-E. Salsa from the 70’s.
What brought you to NY and what keeps you there? What makes you want to come back to LA?
The reason I moved to NY was to try something different. I have lived in Brooklyn for the past 6 years and I am thankful for all the love i have gotten from the people out here. I teach adults; G.E.D. and E.S.L. But deep within my heart is the City of Angels and that is real. And I know when the time is right and when the opportunity is there i will be back.
Complete this sentence: life is…
life is passion mixed with reason.
Who are the artists that interest you?
people that have inspired me to shoot and create are ghandi, bruce davidson, malcolm x. boogie, joesph rodriguez, martin luther king jr., hamburger eyes, krishnamurti, 2pac and too many more to mention.
Want to get in touch with Sean? Email him: email@example.com