Timothy Saccenti

When we asked New York-based photographer Timothy Saccenti how music affected his art, he gave the golden one-word answer: “Synesthesia.” That’s a remarkably poignant response from a man who claims the title “tone-deaf drummer” to be a measure of his musical history, but he’s clear on his theory: “Music is generally much more moving and immediate than visual art – it is abstract by nature.” Not to betray his own profession, he adds, “Visual art, when it’s great, is a close second.” Based on the content of his impressive body of work, Saccenti could be considered an authority on both subjects. Since 2001, he’s made a living unwrapping the ache behind Grandmaster Flash, the sex behind MU, and the quite bearable lightness behind Crystal Method’s life in bass. Working with labels like Astralwerks and Warp Records, his photographs establish the identities of musicians beyond the obvious reference of their albums, capturing a passion that may be difficult to see in its commercial personas. One of the few to incorporate photography into the slipmats, his use of beta fish in waterless suspension behind Plexiglass was originally inspired by the shape of the slipmat itself – the fishbowl being a perfectly round, unobtrusive presentation for living art. As someone who seems to appreciate the unexpected relationships in life, his reference to the lyrics of Primal Scream’s “Higher Than the Sun” in relation to a piece involving water-bound creatures rings especially significant.