Saturday, 24 November 2012

Lucas Ottone

Barcelona, Spain

You're based in in Barcelona, and also work in Mallorca. Which city do you like  better for going out and shooting street photography?

As Barcelona is way bigger than Palma, I feel it more interesting to shoot urban pictures there. Barcelona is a city that changes quickly and it also has many neighbourhoods that are very different from each other. You can easily go from a rich and boring zone to a bohemian and inspiring street where lots of new things happen every day.

How are the times right now for a photographer in Spain?

Maybe I'm not the right person to answer that, but I will give a little opinion about what I think.

I think it's not about the talent that you have as a photographer here; it’s about your talent to spread your work. Some people may say this happens everywhere, but here, it's an ever-present issue since the art community is smaller than in other countries. In Spain, even if you have great talent, you cannot be "found" unless you make yourself recognizable. I know many gifted artists whose projects remain ignored, and tons of shitty photographers whose boring pictures are exposed because their father/uncle/fiancĂ© has got some contacts. In Mallorca - and this is really true - you will find the same artists in every single exhibition. But I guess that this is a thing that we must learn to live with. The only solution to this dilemma that seems to work is to sell us a little bit and to not be ashamed about being such a pest sometimes.

Next to landscapes and people, what inspires you currently the most?

My pictures usually build a personal diary. I understand them as a way to remember things that have happened to me in the past. To me, they are surrounded by a kind of nostalgia. Any theme that can be related to that feeling will inspire me. I could say I take pictures in order to remember.

Would you say that a good photographer could take a good picture of almost anything? Or is this just a fairy tail?

I have no idea how to answer this question. I guess that if you love what you picture in your head, it will be well portrayed.

During your time in New York, was there something that surprised you about the city?

A curious thing happened to me when I was in New York. It's a city you see lots of times in movies or pictures, so you sort of already have an idea of how it will look like before going there. The thing is that when you get there, and see the streets and skyscrapers you've seen before, a strange feeling of belonging develops. The city looks familiar and new at the same time. At least that’s how I felt when I visited the city.

Why did you name two of your sets "Days of heaven" and "Days of Earth"?

Both sets represent different moments in my life during the last two years, 2011 and 2012 correspondingly. They serve to show two different ways to enjoy life, but at the end, if you compare them both, you see there isn't so much difference between them after all. In other words, "Heaven" and "Earth" become the same in the end. To me, these are sets of happiness.

Do you like artists' collaborations?

Yes, but only between different fields of art. I've worked with a painter (Juan Oliver) and a collage artist (Amadeo Orellana), but never with another photographer. Also, I think that we should consider models as artists as well; many muses have provided me with great ideas.

Do you ever find yourself criticizing or analysing pictures in newspapers?

If it's well paid, yes.

In contemporary media, what would you say has more effect: pictures or words?

Although I'm a bit better with the first ones, I think words get stuck in our heads better than pictures. For instance, I would say that music is far above pictures and words in that respect. Contemporary media, specially advertising, is exploring more than ever the power of music. It can evoke almost everything.

If a friend started engaging in photography and asked you for help, what would be the first thing you would advice him or her to do?

Firstly, I would advice not to do any course or degree in photography. At least in Spain, most of them are pure bullshit, at least in my eyes. Photography, like so many arts, is a thing you must learn by yourself.

Secondly, and this is a piece of advice a good fellow and photographer told me once, you should take only pictures that represent you, especially when you're starting to engage in photography. If you start by doing live music reports, for example, you will be called again to do live music reports. The question here is, would you love to be known for doing this type of picture? Because in the end, you are what you do.

Not mincing matters. Take a look at his work!

1 comment:

Hannes said...

nice work. love the second one. looks like a painting by hopper.