Who is Kevin Goss-Ross and what do you do?
I am a South African photographer currently living in Dublin, Ireland. I specialise in photographing humans but I dabble in shooting everything which appeals to me visually and (obviously) financially. I’m also involved in graphic design and art direction but ultimately my heart lies with my camera.
Tell us about your collaboration with Thinkhouse X Series?
Thinkhouse approached me with what I can only describe as a magical unicorn of a brief. They needed new imagery to be used across their branding and as luck would have it they chose me for the first instalment of this quite brilliant collaborative initiative. With Thinkhouse X Series, Thinkhouse (Ireland and the UK’s finest youth agency) aims to collaborate with creatives from various visual disciplines to create continuously evolving, constantly changing visuals for their own marketing. It’s an excellent opportunity for a flexing of creative muscles and I can’t wait to see what the next X Series produces.
Thinkhouse helped immensely with production which allowed me to do things which my own budget and time limitations would normally limit. Exposure is a dirty word to any creative but this has been huge for me as someone who has only been allowed to work in Ireland for the past two and a half years and is still making a name for himself.
What was the inspiration behind your work for Thinkhouse?
As Thinkhouse is a youth communications agency the focus was on my own interpretation of ‘youth’. This is series of photographs of humans inspired by youth and the glimpses of fleeting truths hidden between the chaos of wild weekends – a flexing of creative muscles in an exercise focussed on aesthetic and visual experiments. With references borrowed from popular culture’s more sleazy heroes and folklore narratives from different continents forced together to produce this collection of almost childishly colourful and surreal photographs.
How would you define your style or art?
I like to think that I’m quite versatile – I do a lot of very commercial work which is rewarding in its own way but as far style for personal work goes I would describe it as bright, colourful and slightly childish at times with a constant lurking hint of tragedy, irony and humorous cynicism.
What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by people and their stories. I’m inspired by narratives, myths, legends and the talent of friends. Inspiration is an elusive thing, but it’s hiding everywhere.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve always got a deluge of things going on but creatively I’m going through a body of work photographer Tyrone Bradley and I shot in the Karoo over April titled ‘In Tussen In’. It’s an experiment in pure collaboration with someone I respect hugely as both a photographer and a person.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
Never forget that working as someone who gets to create is a privilege, and that privilege is never guaranteed. Produce work like it might all be taken away from you at any moment. Never stop pushing.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
I won the Emma Smith Award when I was studying at DUT but in terms of highlights it’ll always be exhibitions. A thousand people can ‘like’ an image online but nothing compares to having people actually getting off their arses to come look at physical prints. The ‘Life and Death Between Chai’ exhibition I held in the Factory Café in Durban along with Caitlin Fay Smith and Gareth Bright is still the best I’ve ever felt about my career and my work. I’ve got immense love for Durban.
Where can our readers follow your work?
The best resolution versions of my work is available on my website at kevingoss-ross.com but you can also find me on Facebook (Just add me – I’m a friend whore. Also Facebook pages are useless), on instagram as @thegossross, on Tumblr at kevingoss-ross.tumblr.com and on Twitter @kevingossross.