20 questions with photographer Cyrus Mahboubian
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
Artistic pursuits take up most of my time.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
I think the ethic of reciprocity “do unto others as you would have them do to you” is a good way to live.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
MTV. It used to be genuinely cool and at the forefront of popular culture, but now it seems mainly to host a plethora of idiotic reality TV shows.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Does Tony Blair miss being Prime Minister? I thought he’s too busy making millions to care.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Tony Blair’s wealth.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
When I hear about banks losing billions, nations borrowing trillions, I can’t help think it’s all quite meaningless. However, being an artist, finance probably isn’t my strength.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
Abbreviations like “totes” and “adorbs” are pretty annoying.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I tend to favour smaller charities because I feel like the really big ones can be a bit wasteful. In general I’m quite concerned by our ongoing destruction of the natural world. I take that really seriously.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
No phones at the dinner table. Also it really bothers me when I see extremely young children playing with mobile phones. I think that’s awful. The other day I saw a child in a pram playing with a phone.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
The Rolling Stones circa 1972. And other music legends like Prince, Serge Gainsbourg, Michael Stipe and Debbie Harry. Hopefully they’d start jamming.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
I’d go to Mario’s Trattoria in Florence and eat whatever is on the menu that day. They have the most amazing, fresh Tuscan food.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
I think a Bloody Mary is acceptable with brunch, otherwise I find drinking before evening a bit worrying.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
I’m not a big drinker so I’d have a cup of tea.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I’ve been to some pretty good parties at Sotheby’s.
Who is the most positive person you know?
Definitely my mother.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Really silly comedies: Step Brothers is a favourite.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
I don’t have any tattoos but hypothetically I would get one of an elephant. I think tattoos can be really beautiful.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
Oh, I don’t know. I drive a red Mercedes from the ’80s. It’s the car I was driven home in from the hospital after I was born so I’ll go with that.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
Loads of people seem surprised that I play football and that I’m quite an outdoors kind of person.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I don’t currently have a mantelpiece but my bedside table is strewn with Polaroids, half read books and business cards.
Cyrus Mahboubian is a London based photographer and artist in residence at Notting Hill’s Gate Theatre. He has taught at The Photographers’ Gallery and exhibited at The Troubadour, Sotheby’s Summer Exhibition and The Redchurch Street Gallery. He was selected for the Young Masters exhibition presented by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery in 2013.
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