21 questions

For Photographer Jeremy Kost, Art Happened by Mistake

Name: Jeremy Kost
Age: 33
Neighborhood: Hell’s Kitchen
Occupation: “Working Artist.” He’ll be signing his monograph documenting New York club culture, It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn, June 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Bookmarc on Bleeker St.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
It’s a little bit cliché, but I would say in a dream scenario it’s a Warhol-Basquiat collaborative. Because I think they both together represent this really amazing hybrid of a really visceral artist who made these really primitive incredible works, but also the commercial side of it with Andy, who had this business sense that was just so unbelievably savvy that he was way ahead of his time.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Hugo Boss, when they were one of my biggest sponsors, had a Christmas dinner at Nobu 57 one year that was epic. It was before the budgets fell out, before the economic crisis, and was everything that was incredible about the Nobu menu and like 300 times the amount that you could eat of it.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I make pictures of trannies, drag queens, and beautiful boys.

What was your first job in New York?
I was an account manager for an Internet company. Art totally happened by mistake.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
This is actually pretty embarrassing — it was Spring Awakening, which was a long time ago. I’m dying to go to Sleep No More, but it’s not really Broadway, I guess.

Do you give money to panhandlers?

What’s your drink?
Sugar-free Red Bull. I’m kind of addicted.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Never. I bought my place in 2004, and I’ve cooked in it twice. (Pasta, both times.)

What’s your favorite medication?
God, I don’t know what legal answer I can give you. Ambien.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A Curtis Mann and a Joe Bradley. The Joe Bradley painting is one of my favorite things that I own, that I bought early on in his career before his explosion.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I spend now $55 after tip, and that’s pushing it. My hair is like a Mohawk sort of thing so anything more than that I think is obnoxious.

When’s bedtime?
It’s totally unpredictable. One of the things I think is fabulous about New York is that if you let it, the night can take you anywhere.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Old. I never really saw old Times Square, but I know I hate the new one.

What do you think of Donald Trump?
I think it was the best decision ever for him to back out of running for president.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The snow on the sidewalks in the winter. Not specifically the snow, but the water — freezing cold and impossible to see — that pools around the corners.

Who is your mortal enemy?
This guy named Tom Petters, who had a company called the Petters Group, who bought Polaroid. He’s the one who destroyed the film.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Last week in L.A.

How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
Well, I think as an artist, that’s where a lot of our sales tend to come from. But it feels like things are back from that perspective. It feels like bonuses are back, and collectors are buying again. My sales have never been better.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times. In fact, I can’t pick up the Post or Daily News. They’re just gross.

Where do you go to be alone?
I turn my phone off and I walk, anywhere.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
I don’t buy into this idea that you have to be here seven years. I think either you are or you’re not. And I think you become that pretty quickly.

For Photographer Jeremy Kost, Art Happened by Mistake