"DILL" / Jonathan Rentschler / INTERVIEW

Jonathan Rentschler is another name that should ring familiar to most LIVE regulars as we've shared about his photography works and even interviewed him before - around the time of the release of his "LOVE" photo book on the last days of LOVE Park in Philly. Well, today, he's up to presenting a new zine: "DILL", focused on Jason Dill as its subject but not just any Dill, or the most publicized Dill for that matter: casual Dill, with an emphasis on documenting spontaneous moments in the man's natural environments.
 
The opportunity was to great to miss for Benjamin, who caught up with Jon in order to learn more, and spread the word!
 
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LIVE Skateboard Media: What's up, Jon, thanks for doing this! So, where did the quarantine find you?
 
Jonathan Rentschler: I'm currently held up in my apartment in the Lower East Side with a nice bottle of Bordeaux wine waiting things out.
 
N.Y.C. is currently the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, and the city is pretty much shut down. It's a very strange sight here.
 
I was supposed to attend the Los Angeles Art Book fair at the beginning of April to launch two new zines I self-published for the occasion but, like most events around the world, the fair has been canceled. 
 
LSM: What makes Jason Dill an interesting subject, to you? As you aren't necessarily one to be into documenting "famous" people… 
 
Jon: The few times that I have had the chance to hangout with Jason, his magnetic personality stood out to me. He is very outspoken and charismatic. He has become quite known for this.
 

"Skateboarding and photography [...]
They sort of find you
and once they do,
they can be
whatever
you want them
to be"

 
After viewing the images I made of him, which became the series for the "DILL" zine, I realized that the images showcased his personality and character in a different setting than what people are used to seeing. Typically, he is featured in a skate video or an interview, not on a night out on the town with the boys.
 
The images from the series were made in one evening, dinner at a bistro in the East Village, and then hanging out on a tenement rooftop in the Lower East Side. 
 
LSM: Why did you pick up photography in the first place?
 
Jon: I think that there are a lot of similarities between skateboarding and photography, one thing being is they sort of find you and once they do, they can be whatever you want them to be.
 
Soon after I was introduced to photography by a former roommate, I realized that, for me, photography was a way to communicate with people, to connect, as I am a bit of a loner and introvert.  
 
LSM: Who are you trying to reach out to, you think, when you decide put photos on paper in a certain order?
 
Jon: No one specific. I just try to illustrate a story from my point of view. This usually is not apparent while I'm making the images but only later, during the editing process.
 
There is an intuition involved, but many times the story does not become visible until you sit with the images for awhile.
 
But at the end of the day, it's up to the viewer how they perceive the images and what they want to take away from them. 
 
LSM: When will the zine be available, and how?
 
Jon: The zine is currently available in the U.S. on my webshop and on the Printed Matter website, as well as in the U.K. at Palomino.
 
In the coming weeks, it will be available at shops throughout Germany and France via Beast Distribution, in Japan with Shelter DistributionFlotsam BooksBlank Mag Books and Salt & Pepper, and in N.Y.C. at Dashwood Books.
 
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