Mark Hunter’s neon-soaked 00s photographs of Lady Gaga, Sky Ferreira, and Kanye West capture a messy moment in time when people still acted up at parties
The Cobrasnake, Hollywood, 2004
“This is a PSA to always wear sunscreen. I know it isn’t always the coolest thing to do, but now there’s all these cool brands. I don’t even remember how I got sunburned, but the show must go on.
I went out that night and we were hanging out around the Avalon and Spider Club in Hollywood. Part of what was always fun, and is still fun, is you go to a party and it might be boring and you end up doing something else entirely. We were wandering down Hollywood Boulevard and I’m too scared and not cool enough to get a real tattoo but somehow thought it would be funny to ask for a chest piece that said Cobrasnake and that was the tattoo artist mocking up how it might look on my chest.
I think my full outfit was a white denim vest with matching little white shorts. And obviously, the leopard underwear, to match.”
Cole Mohr, Paris, 2008
“Cole was one of the ‘It Boys’ of the time and he was always down to have a good time. This could even be my own foot, I’m not sure though, I’d have to double check. A foot in the mouth is such a great energy that we need to get back to. People were saying spitting in your friend’s mouth is cool, but this is on a whole other level.”
Cory Kennedy, New York Fashion Week, 2007
Lady Gaga, Hollywood, 2007
“Here’s a young Lady Gaga wearing an American Apparel tank top. This was taken at a Target event where M.I.A. performed. You look at this photo and it’s so effortless, it’s very Indie Sleaze, the tank is basically falling off.
I don’t even know what was going on because she’s just standing there. That’s what’s so great about roaming photography, you’re just sort of canvassing the party. I’m just pointing my camera in different directions and this is one of those photos that really aged well. At the time she was practically unknown and soon became the biggest pop star.
I like seeing people in their early stages of their careers and their roots so you can really see where they’re coming from. The one night I didn’t end up at [Hollywood club] Cinespace, Gaga ended up performing. She really paid her dues. In the photos from the performance, [Cobrasnake contributing photographer] Ron was photographing and her costume was really DIY, it looked like something fashioned from the art store.”
Crowd At Katy Perry’s Birthday Party
Sky Ferreira (left) Taylor Swift (centre) Trevor Mcfedries aka DJ Skeet Skeet (back right), Hollywood, 2009
“In the heyday of the 2000s, Katy Perry’s birthday party was the place to be. Every year, her party was insane. One year was at the Magic Castle, one was downtown at some cool warehouse. The themes and accoutrements that were associated with these parties were nuts. This one was a sort of Willy Wonka theme, everyone wore white and got painted on.
This is an example of something I liked to do. Katy’s over here blowing out the candles and what’s over here on the other side? You’ve got Taylor Swift, I don’t know what’s wrong with Sky, you’ve got Trevor McFedries, then DJ Skeet Skeet who created Lil Miquela. You see a bunch of point and shoot cameras and a phone that is definitely not an iPhone. I would love to see the memory cards from these cameras.
Shortly after this, it became a food fight and the cake was all over the place and everyone was a mess. That’s something that just doesn’t happen as often. Nowadays even at a pool party, nobody’s in the pool.”
Tavi Gevinson, New York Fashion Week, 2011
“Tavi was big at the time for being the youngest fashion blogger. She was a phenomenon, sitting front row at fashion shows next to editors. She had a true passion for fashion and evolved that into Rookie magazine and was working with Petra Collins and a lot of fun people. And now, she’s an actress!
It’s nice to see the beginnings of more careers from this time. And of course, she has the point-and-shoot camera. Look at those little charm bracelets in the background! Those are very popping again.”