Freedom in movement: the Magnum Field Jacket
Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson speaks to Belstaff about collaborating on the ultimate jacket for adventures both near and far from home
Belstaff's latest collaboration is with award-winning Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson to create the limited-edition Magnum Field Jacket. The stylish field jacket has been made in a hardwearing but light waxed cotton, making it not only eminently portable but also extremely resilient, whatever the elements throw at it. Here he speaks to Belstaff about his work, Magnum and collaborating on the Field Jacket.
Through working together, Belstaff and Anderson have created the perfect outerwear for someone in Anderson's line of work: ‘As a photographer, I have an appreciation for the intersection of form and function so it was great to be invited by Belstaff to share some thoughts in tailoring a jacket, which is both functional for field work, yet looks good year-round in an urban environment like Barcelona, where I live.’
What inspired you to start taking photographs?
My first inspiration was simply looking at other photographs. I think I was quite aware of the news at a very young age and was fascinated by pictures of events that I wanted to experience. When I began making pictures for myself, I liked seeing how things looked when they were photographed.
What has changed about your approach since you started out?
My work has become more intimate and less descriptive. I think I am less preoccupied with ‘making’ ‘good’ pictures and more interested in ‘seeing’.
What does being in the Magnum collective mean to you as an artist?
What influence does Magnum have on your work, and how do you think it influences contemporary photography?
Personally, I think Magnum helps keep me tethered to relevancy. It gives me a sense that I am contributing to a collective memory that is bigger than myself. As far as contemporary photography in general, I think that Magnum serves as a reference point for creating work that stands the test of time and outlasts a trend. Magnum remains contemporary by being timeless.
Can you describe your experience of being the first photographer in residence at New York Magazine?
My collaboration with New York Magazine - and specifically Jody Quon, the magazine’s Director of Photography - was one of the most rewarding creative collaborations I have ever been involved with. I am so grateful to both Jody and the magazine’s Editor, Adam Moss.
Is there anything you’d like to photograph that you haven’t yet?
Yes, the rest of my next book!
What’s the hardest project you’ve worked on?
That depends on how you define “hard”. I have certainly worked on projects that were physically hard… wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I once accompanied 44 Haitians on a crude boat trying to sail to America, for example. Other projects were hard in different ways: trying to make an intimate and revealing portrait of Presidents Obama and Trump in a very short time. They are hard in different ways.
And the most rewarding?
This will sound like the kind of PR answer that one gives in an interview, but it is absolutely true: the most rewarding is always the last picture I made that I think is presentable to the world.
Can you describe your collaboration with Belstaff and the new Field Jacket?
As a photographer I have an appreciation for the intersection of form and function so it was great to be invited by Belstaff to share some thoughts in tailoring a jacket which is both functional for field work, yet looks good year-round in an urban environment like Barcelona, where I live.
Which functions do you think are particularly relevant to working in the field?
Instinct, intuition, confidence.