Malerie Marder’s intimate portraits of subjects including her mother and her ex-boyfriend, actor Peter Sarsgaard, in settings ranging from hotel bathrooms to Hollywood bungalows, are collected in Carnal Knowledge, which we preview above. A four-year collaboration between Marder and Violette Editions, the photobook collects images that span Marder’s decade-long career, each imbued with a palpable self-consciousness under the artist’s voyeuristic gaze. “My work has a lot to do with privacy and secrecy,” says the LA-based photographer. “I’m innately drawn to this, someone disarming themselves for the camera, in a moment that would normally remain private. That’s my drive, or, in a way my addiction.” Marder’s photographs are included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Carnal Knowledge will be published next month, complete with short stories inspired by the artist’s portraits from A.M Homes, James Frey and Bruce Wagner, plus a conversation between Marder and pioneering photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, excerpted here.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: If you could change one thing about your work, what would it be?
Malerie Marder: No one would be naked, particularly me.
PL: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
MM: Actress in a David Lynch film; JFK’s social secretary; Rick Rubin.
PL: If you could be addicted to something, what would it be?
MM: Youthful impetuousness.
PL: What is your favorite smell?
MM: Jet fuel.
PL: Is nail polish important?
MM: Only in the grand scheme of things.
PL: Is ice cream better soft or hard?
PL: Can animals be considered naked?
MM: I’m not an expert, but I wager yes.
PL: If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
MM: A guy.
PL: Do you think you are punished for being unabashedly a woman?
MM: Yes, and I’m not paranoid.
PL: Would you trade places with anyone?
MM: Only if they were younger, richer, smarter, better looking, and not artistic.
Malerie Marder: Carnal Knowledge will be published in May by Violette Editions. A display of previously unexhibited work from Carnal Knowledge is on view at London's Blain|Southern Gallery until April 21. A limited-edition photograph accompanied by a signed book is available from the publisher.