He pulls up to the house, parks the old police cruiser so that the license plate is just visible if you squint: Enigma. He walks to the front door, already sporting his purple converse dancing shoes (with neon laces) and reaches for the door, fingers decorated with turquoise rings. Stuart Klipper is a hard character to describe with words, but his enthusiasm and quit wit make for delightful conversation. Stu has stopped by before heading to Sunday night Cajun dancing at a local bar…
Originally from the Bronx, you graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Has this degree in any way shaped how you photograph?
“I was going to college to learn to build space ships.”
No, not at all. It was a time when everyone was into science – it was the dawn of the Space Age and I had been a slave to SciFi. I was going to college to learn to build space ships. Within a scan of a few weeks I left the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan – this thanks, in part to the inarticulate ineptitude of the math teaching assistants. I landed in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The Pysch degree was ultimately incidental. I took courses in a wide range of very disparate fields, from botany to music lit. More often than not I perused the stacks and shelves of the campus libraries and learned as much from what I found there as I did in the classroom. I’d have to say that what I read and what I saw (and listened to in the music library) influenced –in very nascent ways—how I came to make photography (originally one boyhood hobbies amongst many) and think about what doing photography meant, what photographs were about.
I’m a transplant to Minnesota. I grew up in the Bronx, N.Y. – on the North American mainland. For a slew of reasons and influences, I harbored romantic notions about the Midwest. Also, 1) I like long cold winters, and 2) I had lived in Sweden and had a veneer of Scandinavian culture … so, yar shoor, ubetcha, Minnesota was a natural place for me to move to.
Read the full interview here