• Interview: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Red Square

    Posted on April 27, 2013 by Tony Ward

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    ROY STUART INTERVIEW

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    TW: Do you consider yourself an expatriate?

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    RS: I was never a patriot in the first place so I can’t relate to that term. I’ve been here so long and I don’t feel any connection to any country but people will stick labels on you no matter what. In fact, I’m half English and half American if the details be known.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: When you arrived in Paris, were you already working with the nude as a primary subject or did the French culture inspire your vision in some way?

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    RS: Yes, I had been shooting nudes and fashion in London all during the 80’s and I arrived in Paris around 1991. French culture did indeed inspire and redirect. For one thing I absolutely stopped fashion, the French fashion scene is so superficial, based on favoritism, social availability, just bullshit in general etc. I started working with the Italian magazine, Excelsior and various French publications, Playboy, Penthouse, New Look, all now defunct of course.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart


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    TW: Some argue the internet evolution caused the demise of many men’s sophisticates, as well as primary revenue streams for the photographers that supplied them. Where do you publish your work these days and how has the digital age effected your vision and commitment to the craft of photography? For example, have you switched over to digital cameras or do you continue to expose film?

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    RS: LIke everyone, I’ve switched to digital, really insane not to. True, all the magazines are gone. I certainly wouldn’t call them sophisticates. Men’s magazines, they were mostly cheap glossy vulgar masturbation crap. Now they exist on the internet flourishing even more. I plan to publish all new work since 2008. The same dimensions and number of pages as my last book except this time not Taschen, but a French publisher that is not apt to try and rip me off as did my former publisher. Taschen tried to publish a collection of my work without telling me. I sued the publisher in a French court, and the company was ordered to pay huge damages (even though the books were never sold). The case was well documented in the French press. The new book is due out in the fall of 2013.

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    The digital age has influenced me to concentrate more on cinéma and leave still photography behind. Quite a bit more can be expressed in moving images and even though I hate computers as Brad Pitt said, one must evolve or die, simple as that.

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    Why call men’s magazines that feature badly photographed tits and ass “sophisticates”?

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: Sophisticates was a common term used in the publishing industry which defined adult magazines that were receiving income from mainstream advertising. The best examples are of course: Playboy and Penthouse.You contributed to Leg Show magazine for decades. How did your contributions, and working with editor Dian Hanson shape the direction of your pictures over those years? Did you always have a penchant for voyeurism, foot worship, and nude women with unshaven vaginas? How did contributing to the magazine enliven your passions and vision?

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    RS: I was never into and still not into feet. Never into fetishism or dressing up in funny gear. I never could and still cannot stand shaved pussies. Working with the magazine obliged me to explore some strange areas which never meant much to me sexually or photographically – though I was never pressured to shoot shaved women.

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    Dian Hanson possessed rare insights as to the endless variations of what turns men on. It certainly wasn’t boring. Now that I’m free of the magazines, I do completely what I like, no more high heels or pantyhose, suspender belts etc. Now its only the healthy fresh modern female. I am certainly not a feminist. it’s just that I selfishly don’t find stupid females a turn-on.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: Have you ever fell in love with a muse?

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    RS: Not so sure that I want to get into questions and answers of the personal nature. I’d rather talk about how Taschen is a publisher without balls and warn people about publishers who attempt to take advantage of photographers rights.
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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: You mentioned the type of women you are interested in working with now; that is “healthy fresh modern females”. How would you characterize the women you worked with in the past?

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    RS: The same.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: Although women have been the main characters of your erotic narratives over the years, men have also played a prevalent role. How would you describe the role that men play in your pictures?

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    RS: I guess the natural almost automatic answer would be to compliment the female models. But it’s probably important to include good looking males in the narratives if you don’t want to distract the male viewers and keep the female viewers interested. The best way to appeal to female viewers is of course to include images of just men with or without women relating to each other sexually –something i like to portray as often as possible but probably not often enough.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: What is life like in Paris these days for the arts? How has the present economy impacted your work flow and outlook for 2013?

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    RS: Life in Paris these days is no different than it was 20 years ago except that the internet has taken over. All my magazine clients have folded including the ones in the U.S. So I am preparing a new book that will be out later this year, a collection of my digital photos shot since the last Taschen book appeared in 2008. A warning to artists and photographers searching for a publisher; stay away from German publishers, Taschen isn’t the only bad one. Also, I’ve kept busy by releasing one GLIMPSE DVD every year. Will shortly be starting a paying internet site in conjunction with METART so despite no magazine work, things are moving along.

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    Photo: Roy Stuart

    Photo: Roy Stuart

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    TW: What is your impression of the gallery scene in Paris at the present time?

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    RS: I’m lately more interested in film rather than still photography exhibitions but the gallery scene in Paris is alive and well as far as I know.

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    TW: The mise en scene of many of your erotic pictures centers around your apartment and the streets of Paris. Where else in Europe do you enjoy making pictures?

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    RS: Rome. I prefer Rome to all other places , not only for pictures. One day I”ll be living there.

    Red Square

    Copyright 2013

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    Editor’s Note: To learn more about the work of Roy Stuart, log on: www.RoyStuart.net


    2 responses to “Interview: Roy Stuart”


    • A.H. Scott

      Jeffrey Price Michelson: Good interview.


    • admin

      Enrique Lassaro: Roy Stuart has inspired me so much, really love his creativity and good taste and sense of humor. He is one of the best photographers for sure…