Back to Writing / 3-29-2005

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Bad ass erotic photographer Eddie Ostrowski doesn't like the wheeling and dealing of LA, but he tolerates it for the good of his mean lookin' art. He worships Satan, or maybe he's just kidding. Either way, it's probably a good idea not to fuck with him. We nicely asked him some questions and lived to tell the tale.

Sez G: Why did you leave San Francisco and are you still based in LA? How do you think LA works with you in terms of attitude and creative fodder?

Eddie Ostrowski: Yeah I'm still based in LA… well, really in Eagle Rock which is a section on Northeast LA. I say this because Eagle Rock really is nothing like the rest of LA. The traffic doesn't suck out here and you can park on the street in front of stores you want to visit. The rest of LA, like Hollywood, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, it is kind of a cluster fuck. I'm not down with that at all.

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When I lived in the Bay Area I lived in San Jose and not the city. If I lived in SF I prolly wouldn't have moved. Oakland is a great place too. I'd like to give a shout out to all my Bay Area peeps right now.

LA is a wasteland. It's a desert, and people try and make it something it really isn't. I don't like the entertainment industry and all the bullshit that goes on with it. Living in LA for 3 or 4 years has opened my eyes to a lot of the fucking lame shit the media does to get your attention and sell you whatever bullshit they want you to buy. Living in LA has taught me two things though…One, if you aren't talking about how great your shit is no one is going to do it for you. And two, everything is about money in this town.

EZ: You've mellowed out a lot from your punk rock and extreme sports days. Tell me about your transition into nudie pics.

EO: I wouldn't say I've mellowed. I like to say I'm just a lot smoother now. The first nude pic I took was of a girlfriend of mine while she was taking a bath. It was one of those post coitus moments and I had my camera handy. I liked the result and started making more. I continued because it's a way for me to see girls naked. It's kind of a cool gig.

EZ: You seem drawn to the darker, grittier side of reality, like shooting motels and cigarettes. What about darkness calls to you?

EO: I don't know anymore. There seems to be a lot of people making dark art today. When I started making photos back in the 80's I was influenced by artist like Joel Peter-Witkin, Francesca Woodman, Starn Brothers, Robert Rauschenberg, Derek Riggs, Francis Bacon and Nan Goldin.

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I also smoked a lot of weed and listened to a ton of Metal back in the 80's. It was kinda what we did in the South Bay back then. Shit, I still think it's part of the culture even to this day. Also I worship Satan in my spare time. At this moment I like to say what's up to all the brothers and sisters keeping the dreams of Dr. Anton LaVey alive and well. Hail Satan.

EZ: Well, that would explain the draw to darkness. There's no better influence! How much computer retouching do you generally do?

EO: I use the diffuse glow filters on my porn images, I mean "erotic art images," but not much else. The diffuse glow filter basically helps with skin blemishes and general skin issues on the models. Other then that I don't do a lot retouching.

As far my "Dark Art" stuff, none of it is retouched. When I do work like that, it's done by destroying my negatives, scratching them or whatever. Also I put my prints through hell using photo bleach, charcoal, paint, and a bunch of other junk to make them look mean.

EZ: Damn, are they mean! But you also include a lot of cool soft-focus and blurry shots in your portfolio. How did this look develop for you and are these shots intentional or discovered after the fact?

EO: Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm into. It goes like this: any dumbass can set-up some strobes and shoot boring straight-forward pics of some chick with her boobs hanging out. Personally I like to see something interesting in the photos I make. I know the mainstream doesn't get it, but who cares about them away. So yeah, I do it on purpose.

EZ: What kind of relationship do you have with your models?

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EO: When I'm shooting them, they are the most beautiful woman in the world. But after that, I really don't have much contact with them. Unless of course I've totally lamed out and forgot to send them their pics. I would like to think they had good things to say about me, but I don't really know. What have you heard?

EZ: Me? Oh, um, nothing…yeah, nothing. Ahem... Anyway, you also do collage and assemblage. How did you get into it? Do you ever photograph with the intention of using it in collage, or does it develop more organically?

EO: It goes back to how much the Starn brothers and Rauschenberg influenced me. I started out as a painter way back in the day and was drawn photography as an extension of my art. So combining paint and photography was just a logical progression for me. I believe in letting my art tell me what it wants to be.

EZ: What's ErotiCandy?

EO: ErotiCandy is an online erotic ezine that's been around since the time of the dinosaurs. I started it to showcase the artists I found online who I thought where super cool and interesting. I realized that while showcasing some cool artists I could make money showing porn too. So I started linking to porn sites which was the beginning of the end.

I've learned a lot about the porn industry, and to be honest, its luster has been lost for me. Still though, it is one of the better online erotic sites out there today.

EZ: What's the future hold for you?

EO: I'm starting work on a documentary about erotic photography which should be fun. I want to make a Rock Opera some day too.

Rock on, Eddie! You can learn more about Eddie Ostrowski at

Eddie Ostrowski - by Sez G.