Matthew Rolston (BA 78 Photography) creates iconic images that explore and reflect the ideas embedded within our cultural obsession with beauty, glamour and celebrity. One of the world’s most sought after editorial photographers, Rolston is best known for his distinctive celebrity portraits, evocative fashion and beauty campaigns and award-winning music videos.
I think entertainment today is a modern substitute for what in ancient times might have been a devotional or spiritual activity.
For the past half century, Rolston’s artistic voice has resonated far and wide, shaping our concept of glamour with his unconventional lighting techniques, detailed sets and dramatic mise en scene. His images have appeared in such publications as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar as well as on the covers of more than 100 Rolling Stone magazines. He has directed music videos for numerous iconic artists including Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Beyonce. More recently, he has applied his creative talents to fine art photography and produced three acclaimed large-scale exhibitions: Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, Vanitas: The Palermo Portraits and Art People: The Pageant Portraits.
In this episode, kicking off the third season of ArtCenter’s Change Lab podcast, Rolston and President Lorne Buchman discuss Matthew's creative influences, his aesthetic of the unity of opposites, his ambivalence about the fashion industry's unrealistic standards of wealth and beauty and his fortuitous meeting, as a young ArtCenter student, with his childhood hero, Richard Avedon.