News / Art

A peek into Haynesville, the photographic diary of Jesper Haynes

Jesper Haynes Haynesville Kata Gallery

When Jesper Haynes was ten years old, he left Stockholm with a camera in tow to pay his grandparents a visit in the American South. One of his earliest photographs, dated 1974, is of a road sign pointing to Haynesville, Louisiana, where he'd stop to see his great grandmother during the odyssey. It was there, in the town that gave him his name, where the first entries in a photographic diary spanning four decades and running were recorded.

When Haynes met Andy Warhol a few years later, the legendary artist suggested he move to New York. The then 16-year-old Haynes jumped at the idea, beginning an apprenticeship under the great photographer Ralph Gibson, cutting his teeth developing prints in Gibson's darkroom by day and capturing the bacchanalian parties at legendary club Area by night, finally slipping next door to Larry Clark's apartment on Hudson and Canal to sleep. While living the ultimate bohemian life, he chronicled heady days of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in '80s New York, shooting a roll of black and white film every day.

His seemingly endless archive of images is populated by lines of cocaine, pools of semen, gobs of puke suspended in mid-air, a plethora of naked bodies, intimate portraits of close friends and celebrities including Allen Ginsberg, Willem Dafoe, Jaime King and a young Scarlett Johansson. Uniquely, Haynes spray-paints each of his prints to break the cycle of mechanical reproduction and scribbles short anecdotes or descriptions on them in epistolary fashion.

Having previously revealed sections of his sprawling diary in Stockholm, New York, Bangkok and Tokyo, Haynes now returns to Ebisu's Kata gallery for the seventh time, displaying work just as exciting and arresting as his previous shows. See the exhibition before April 30 or catch the man himself at the closing party on April 29 from 5pm (free entry). For a preview of what's in store, check out more of Haynes's work here

Photos by Mari Hiratsuka