If you like gothic fashion, you are almost certainly familiar with the photography of Amelia G and Forrest Black. Their fashion editorials have graced the pages of just about every dark magazine in the world, running next to companion text sometimes translated into German, Russian, French, or Japanese. Some of the designers they have covered include Shrine, Antiseptic Fashion, Azrael’s Accomplice, Isabella Corsetry, Jeannie Nitro, Lip Service, Sword & Stone, Versatile, Syren, Retail Slut, Subculture Array, Vampire Technology, and many more.
Now Forrest Black and Amelia G are working on a book of their personal work, a retrospective of more than a decade photographing the California deathrock scene. There is a lot of amazing dark style in these images so far.
You can support the publication of this book by pledging to back it at Kickstarter. Next month, Amazon will process the pledges. This project is already at the 100% mark, so it is definitely a successful Kickstarter. Amelia G says she is “grateful and relieved” to know the book will definitely be coming out, so pledges which come in now will go to make the book even bigger and better and to distribute it to more bookstores.
The video below shows the photographers at work and gives a bit of the story of this project.
“The refreshingly fascinating photography of Amelia G and Forrest Black successfully captures the alluring mystique of the members of our society’s underground sub-cultures, and presents these often-misunderstood individuals in a sexy, provocative, and yet approachable way.” –Linda “FC” Fletch, Editor, Tattoo Savage magazine
“I’m a huge fan of photography and I truly think that what Forrest and Amelia are doing is “right on”. I like their style of cross processing, and I like that fact that they go out into clubland and photograph the wildlife. I don’t see anybody else doing it. Keep it up!!” –Matt Riser, publisher, New Grave magazine
“If West Coast deathrock had official scene photographers, they would be Amelia G and Forrest Black.” –Kate Deathrock, Deathrock.org
Since the mid-1990’s, my partner Forrest Black and I have been setting up location studios in all sorts of unlikely and underground places. We’ve shot our personal work everywhere from behind the pool table in a dive bar to in the parking lot behind a theatre where we had to run a bunch of end-to-end extension cords out the back to power our lights.
When we started shooting, there were very few photographers who would ever shoot anyone gothic or punk or tattooed or pierced or fetish and the few who did approached the subject matter in a gritty unattractive anthropological manner, like they were going to the zoo. I wanted to create respectful and celebratory work. I wanted to capture the joy and tribal sense of community which I experienced in the various subterranean worlds we documented. I wanted the flamboyant beauty I saw to resonate with other people the way it did for me. I wanted the people we photographed to look the way they looked in my mind’s eye when I recalled the excitement of nightlife at midnight.
The West Coast deathrock scene has been one of Forrest’s and my favorite subcultures to shoot. We’ve been immortalizing deathrockers for more than a decade now. I love the way deathrock tends to combine the stylishness of gothic culture with the no apologies attitude of punk.
We’ve shot deathrock bands ranging from Cinema Strange to 45 Grave. We’ve shot DJs and promoters from Satoki and Thee Gabe to Shane Taleda and Jenn and Dave Bats. We’ve shot publishers from New Grave’s Matt Riser to Ghastly’s Jeremy. We’ve shot deathrock pinups from Dahlia Dark and Domiana to Scar 13 and Fetus de Milo. Plus a huge assortment of other folks who make the scene what it is, from author Clint Catalyst to clothing designer Karen Schultz.
I would love to be able to present our deathrock body of work as a coffee table book. Approximately 40% of these images were shot on film, so we will need to get scanning done. We can’t work on the computer like we used to, so we’ll need some graphics help processing the most recent digital images. And of course we need to print the book. These are the things we will use the funding for, if we meet our Kickstarter goal. If we exceed our goal, we will add more pages and, if we exceed our goal by a bunch, then we will do a larger print run with full wholesale bookstore distribution.
Thanks, everyone! I sure hope this works out.