Maryanne Ventrice is a Brooklyn native and resident photographer. She focuses her work on live music events throughout the city featuring a range of styles and sounds. In our dialogue, she discusses goals of documenting and representing the world through the arts, along with how she uses her lens to capture the energetic and emotional feel of a live show. Her words are accompanied by many examples of her dope photos. Peep the entry below!
We strive to represent our world though an artistic medium – trying to give meaning to the world around us, interpreting what we see into what we feel.
– Maryanne Ventrice
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
MV: I’m a photographer from New York City – born and raised in Brooklyn – still live there. New York is an amazing place. I have always been surrounded by the faces and voices of people from all over the world. Sometimes it’s hard to be on top of all of these people but the pros outweigh the cons.
I shoot live music events, mostly. I began by photographing friends in bands and then moved on to shooting for various music blogs.
I never studied photography formally, I studied History. For me, documenting has a lot of potential. I hope that when someone looks back on [my] body of work they will be able to get a good feeling of the time and place of the NYC indie music scene.
In 2012, I curated my first show. It was a group show of 13 female concert photographers entitled 120dB. I’ve gone on to curate several more exhibits and look forward to continuing to showcase the work of other artists.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
MV: Reflection can be about anything — people, places, objects. We strive to represent our world though an artistic medium – trying to give meaning to the world around us, interpreting what we see into what we feel. Photography easily lends itself to this idea. The live music photos reflect the energy of the band and audience at a particular show. For my curatorial projects, I usually spend some time reflecting on images of artists’ work first and then develop a concept in response to join the work and title a show so that it represents that concept to the viewer.
How does your work fit in with that definition?
MV: I mainly photograph live music events. I’ve been shooting the Kidrockers music series since 2007. It’s my favorite live event. Bands come and play their regular set for children. My friends Beth and Morton founded this as a way for parents to have access to new bands since it’s hard to get out once you have kids. I believe that we are creating a future audience for live music. It’s a real labor of love and I hope we never stop.
The [following] images come from my first exhibit, More Guitar in the Monitor, which a friend of mine asked me to put together. I feel that these images capture the mood of the performances.
Delineate was a project that’s process based. I was testing some new equipment on myself and made a photo that I thought was pretty interesting. I convinced 11 others to let me shine a bright white light inches from their faces and make these portraits:
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
MV: I just came back from SXSW and shot a lot of fun shows…
I always work on projects here and there. I’m hoping to do some more portrait work this Spring. I’m always trying to do more portrait work but don’t always succeed in making time.
Who or what inspires you?
MV: I am always inspired by the people around me. I have the good fortune of knowing many photographers, musicians and artists whose creativity and energy invigorate me. I’m also inspired by activists – people who work to make the world a better place often at great personal sacrifice. They keep me from complaining about the small stuff and remain open to the world around me.
Shout out to…?
MV: I’d like to give a shout out to Chris La Putt for helping me get my first photo gig with Prefix. It changed the course of my life.
Reflection and Response.