Thursday, 25 February 2010

John-Elio Reitman

John-Elio Reitman
New York City

What are you studying exactly? Did you plan on it?

I am currently studying fine arts at the Cooper Union. I was always interested in many forms of art, but was only towards the end of high school that I began to pursue art as more than a hobby.

How does being in New York City affect a student's life?

Being in New York City gives me opportunities to see things, get exposed to what exists, what I did not realize was possible. It's all about exposing and educating yourself in order to become better at making things, making pictures. I am mostly awestruck by the sheer number of people in the city, and even more at how many have similar goals to mine.

When first looking through you flickr, one could get the impression that, besides constructing things yourself, you seem to be collecting extraordinary sightings with your camera. Is it so? Do you have some definition in mind?

I am attracted to what is rare, or more often, what is interesting to me. However, I am really hesitant to plan photos in advance, as I usually end up not succeeding as much as I'd like. I also find it really easy to become contrived in my thought process. But, I do walk around with my camera a lot, and I have really "hungry" eyes for anything i failed to notice before.

Please explain the concept behind the victory tower.

The victory tower is childish, but also probably one of my favorite ideas. I think there is something beautiful about structures bigger than myself. It becomes a monument. I also think of a tall structure as something to conquer. Does one climb it, does one build it. Does one understand it? Does one topple it? I think the connotations of the piece are also linked to my ideas of creative process. It is difficult and intense, the rewards are triumphant.

Do you have a favourite café?

I'm a huge fan of downtown bakery. They make really good mexican food, with a really good menu. I go embarrassingly often.

You also have a couple of drawings on your flickr. What do you enjoy doing more currently: drawing or photography?

I can't really choose between drawing and photography. Both are unadulterated forms of making things. Sort of like sketching. I also really enjoy collage. I think with these mediums I am able to distance myself from my head and just work. I think I am most effective because of this detachedness.

How many people got to eat this?

Hahaha. Oh wow. Let me think. I think 6 or 7. I got em all rounded up for killer breakfast.

What was the best trip/vacation you've been on so far? Where was it?

One of the best trips I have been on was when I went with my parents and brother to Israel, to visit family. This was this past summer ('09). I was completely blown away by everything.

Backpack or messenger bag?

Backpack! how else are you supposed to run with everything you need?

Sometimes it's all about concepts. Be sure to visit his flickr!

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