SIGN OF THE TIMES: Rankin has some advice for overprotective publicists: lighten up. The British photographer, film director and co-founder of Dazed & Confused magazine was in Milan on Wednesday presenting his latest book, “F*ck Y*u,” at 10 Corso Como in Milan.
Filled with famous faces in irreverent poses, the project grew out of a popular photo he took of Heidi Klum flipping the bird about 10 years ago, which ended up splashed across T-shirts around the globe, Rankin explained. “Suddenly I was in Thailand and every third, fourth, fifth person depending on where I was had this T-shirt, and I was like, ‘f–kin’ hell… how do you respond to that as an artist?’”
He began by asking his archivist to pore over thousands of shots to “see how many pictures there are of people giving me the finger.”
Publicists were horrified by the wealth of material Rankin uncovered, saying inclusion in a book centered on the middle finger would be bad for their clients’ images. “And then I asked the Rolling Stones and they said yeah – and we’d love to use it for our PR. If the Rolling Stones are using it for their PR, I think you should probably give permission,” Rankin said, adding: “I’d love to send [the publicists] a book saying ‘F–k you for not letting your person participate.’”
He also said that considering the serious nature of many of his works, once in awhile, he felt the need to “have a bit of fun.”
Born in Glasgow and a resident of London, Rankin expressed anguish about today’s Scottish referendum, noting he couldn’t possibly flick off either side. “The thing is, my heart is split, you know? I don’t want to lose Scotland, but I’m Scottish and I understand the need to be independent. I just, I’m really split,” he said, noting until the last week Scottish independence hadn’t even seemed possible.