Chicago native Jesse Greene, who has amassed an audience under his pseudonym Dense83, is recognized for his artistic and fashion-based photography.
“I would call myself an editorial photographer,“ he says, referencing his practice of styling everything just so, from the model to the background, in accordance with the concept for the vision of the shoot.
When asked how he began as a photographer, Greene recounts the story.“When I was about twelve or thirteen, I started shooting on my mom’s camera. She had an old 35mm Mamiya. Over time, I got more serious with it.”
Though he put the hobby aside for a while, a stint working retail helped reignite his focus for the art form. “I reading a lot of look books and magazines, and I was seeing a lot of style, and you know, fashion weeks, and stuff like that.”
“And I really wanted to get back into photography, in the sense that I wanted to do people.”
“All those guys, who were doing the black and white, the really edgy, raw stuff. And I was like, you know what, that’s what I want to do. I want to take pictures that people are afraid to take. Things that make people uncomfortable, not just the standard.”
“I’m very specific about the locations I like to shoot in,” he details, “I like to keep it uniform.” This passion stems in part from his pursuit of urban exploration, a trend among digital photographers to find ruins or other components of the man-made environment that are off the beaten path.
“There’s an amateur-ish look that I like,” he says, “but I can’t do everything like that. So then there’s the other half, where I go to vintage boutiques and stuff and get clothes, and approach those shoots with more of a thought.”
“I try not to overthink it,” Greene admits smiling. “I try to be as minimal as possible.” When the images are realistic, they become relatable, as opposed to when they’re contrived, he explains, and that makes it easier for the audience to connect and feel something.
The models he selects are chosen primarily for their quirks – it’s an unusual face or body frame that will inspire him to want to capture their image. “When it comes to the selection process, I’m totally open to anything.” And indeed, his curiosity sets a tone for his work – people are drawn to it’s diverse nature.
“What about the artful nude aspect?” Chimera asks, “What is it about the human body you’re trying to capture?”
“It’s three things for me – one is, I think bodies are great! It’s a different person without clothes. People change when they’re nude, and it’s interesting. Two, the sexual nature behind it – people want to see naked people in any form. And I enjoy producing that type of imagery, because I really like to make it feel like something was happening.”
“And mostly,” Greene finishes, “I like to shoot nudes because it makes an energy that can’t be captured otherwise. Whether it’s more erotic or more high fashion, I think when you show more skin it makes it more of an impactful image.”
“For me, I feel people need to be slapped in the face when they look at anybody’s art. Whether it’s a sculpture or a painting or a photo.”
Keep up with the artist online and Facebook to see his upcoming projects, including an art based portrait project, slated for 2016, that features photos of individuals in conjunction with art they create.