Category Archives: Photography

the LIFESTYLE Farewell

Dear Friends and Family,

After three years of facilitating the LIFESTYLE arts collective, we’ve reached a point at which we’ve decided to move on from this project in light of other endeavors. Although our website will continue to exist as a historical reference of the artists and artwork that were featured in this space from 2011-2014, we will no longer be collecting or publishing new content. However, before we officially sign off, we’d like to take some time to look back at what’s been an incredible experience connecting and building with you all.

When we launched the LIFESTYLE in August of 2011, our goal was to create a space for dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic exchange rooted in the active processes of Reflection and Response through the arts. We sought to create an interactive, inspiring, and open space where artists from around the world would be able to share their work and their thoughts, centered around the idea of Reflection and Response. We also wanted to maintain the LIFESTYLE as an independent operation, free of ideological constraints or financial directives.

Our various projects have included the Artist Feature Series, Events from the Collective, Talk of the Town, Snapshots from the Collective, Original Mondays, and the Porch Swing Residency. The way we see it, all of the posts in these series add up to a dialogue exploring Reflection and Response from the perspectives of different people, art forms, mediums, and locations. Each person’s contribution to the LIFESTYLE served as a showcase of individual creative expression, while also functioning as an interactive piece of a larger-scale discussion.

We structured the LIFESTYLE around the framework of Reflection and Response – a concept that we believe drives artistic expression, yet rightfully remains open to interpretation. We believe art – in all its forms – serves as a venue through which people express themselves based on their experiences, perspectives, feelings, thoughts, and desires. However, art is often cautiously viewed as a simple, trivial aesthetic activity, providing a basis for it to be marginalized in educational institutions and omitted from broad economic discussions.

The concept of Reflection and Response stands in direct opposition to these traditional views, positioning art instead as a result of an artist’s active, unique processes of reflecting on their surroundings and their experiences, and, in turn, responding through creating something new, and inherently powerful – whether that’s a painting, an installation, a performance, a poem, a song, or any other creative output. Although these processes can be consciously harnessed, they also often indirectly affect a person’s work. We think this concept of Reflection and Response helps explain the essence of creativity.

We’d like to thank all of you who participated in this project as artists and readers, and we hope this space has served and inspired you as powerfully as it has on our end. We’ll forever respect the views and artworks that were shared here, and we’ll continue to build from this foundation as we move forward with future projects. Much love!

Reflection and Response.

– V & P

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Artist Feature: Liz Borda

We welcome photographer Liz Borda to the Collective! We met Liz through friend and fellow photographer Lou Rouse. Born and raised in the New York City area, Liz currently makes her home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Her photography represents a powerful look at the variety of the human experience and the stories that stem from these images contain deep Reflection and Response. Liz is active with her craft and is working on several new projects, including a piece about a young woman in the Bronx and the New York Dream Act. Liz drops some dope knowledge throughout this piece. Make sure to read her ideas and peep her work below!

Liz Borda

Something may trigger me to reflect on a moment, my life and my work. As a result I am active or inactive in my response. Being inactive is a response as well.

– Liz Borda

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

LB: I am a born and raised New Yorker. I grew up in Inwood, Manhattan and later moved to Flushing, Queens. Both places make me super nostalgic when I hang there. I enjoy going back to these neighborhoods and hanging out in my old spots, I love visiting my friends and family. I live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn now and dig it as well. All these places have incredible energy, people and eateries!

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

LB: I feel like reflection is a constant ongoing thing for me. Something may trigger me to reflect on a moment, my life, my work. As a result I am active or inactive in my response. Being inactive is a response as well. Will you act or not after the said reflection? I ponder this more with age.

How does your work fit in with that definition? 

LB: My work ranges from street photography, long format documentary stories and essays to doing assignments for not-for-profits, organizations, to shooting events and portraits. I feel like reflection and response happens in all these types of photography. Theresa from a project named Ladyride had panic attacks for twenty years and she felt her learning to ride motorcycles helped her overcome this. We talked extensively about it and we reflected on that time. She shared with me how she changed her life. I met her after she overcame this. The images I have captured of her you would never guess she had this earlier problem. To me these images show her response to her fears now.

Liz Borda: Theresa Takes the Lead, Ladyride Series

Theresa Takes the Lead, Ladyride Series. Theresa Thompson had a twenty-year history of panic attacks where she couldn’t drive very far in her car or truck. She believes riding was therapy for her and the panic attacks stopped after she started riding. “I think most of my life and relationships I felt pretty trapped, you know, wanted out but was afraid to leave and so this was probably the first major thing I did in my life for me that I was pretty much in control. Started my road to independence.”

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

LB: I am working on a project about a young woman from the Bronx named Janet and the Dream Act as well as the New York Dream Act. I am looking to keep working on long format stories, working with more organizations as well as to keep learning and trying new things with my photography. I want to keep pushing myself and enjoying this crazy journey I am on.

Coming Out of the Shadows

Coming Out of the Shadows

Who or what inspires you?

LB: I am inspired by many things around me. At times it can be a piece of music, walking around the city, a show at a gallery or museum, people in my life or reading/listening to a news report. I love listening to Morning Edition on NPR.

Stoop Life

Stoop Life

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

LB: Thanks Lou, Vicken, and The Lifestyle for this platform and for featuring me. Much love.

Shout out to …?

LB: My husband Joshua Auckenthaler, he is a talented retoucher and photographer. He is my rock. He is such a supportive partner. I also would like to give a shout out to my mother, sister, buddies and loving folks in my life. They offer another level of support and cheer me on. I love them all to pieces! Thank you!

Check out the following links to keep up with Liz’s photo projects:

Reflection and Response.

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Artist Feature: Alicia Martínez Díaz

Conocí a Alicia Martínez Díaz por primera vez en un concierto de artistas locales en Madrid en 2012. Era compañera de piso de Amber Stiles, miembro del Colectivo the LIFESTYLE, y en el concierto hablamos de su interesante arte visual ecléctico, que incluye medios tan diversos cómo el mundo musical hasta la publicidad. Dos años después de conocernos seguimos en contacto y estamos alegres de que haya aceptado la oferta de hacer una entrevista con nosotros. En nuestro diálogo, Alicia nos cuenta su proceso creativo, la naturaleza pensativa de la reflexión y la acción de la respuesta. Además describe su proyecto llamado “La Vida de los Otros,” que busca explorar la idea del “desconocido” tras una mezcla de medios diferentes. Abajo disfruta las palabras y unas selecciones de una artista visionaria!

I first met Alicia Martínez Díaz in Madrid in 2012 at a concert where several dope local artists were performing. She was friends with LIFESTYLE Collective member Amber Stiles, and at the concert we spoke about her eclectic visual art projects, ranging from working with musicians to advertising. Two years later, we remained in contact and we’re delighted that she accepted an interview spot for an Artist Feature. Throughout our dialogue, Alicia delves into her creative process, the pensive nature of reflection, and the active nature of response. She also describes her exciting project “The Lives of Others,” that seeks to explore the idea of the “stranger” through a milieu of different mediums. Enjoy the words and selected pieces from this visionary artist below!

Alicia Martínez Díaz

Mi proyecto fotográfico denominado “La vida de los otros”…recoge y muestra mi mirada, mis pensamientos y conclusiones, sobre personas que no conozco y que veo pasar; las personas que pasan por mi vida directa o indirectamente, las que están y las que no están, y todas las historias que imagino al verlas, las historias que me sugieren los enigmas que parecen rodearlas.

My photo project “The Lives of Others”…gathers and showcases my vision, thoughts, and conclusions concerning strangers that I see but don’t know; those that pass through my life directly or indirectly, those that are here and those that aren’t, and all the stories that I imagine upon seeing them, stories that suggest the oddities that seem to revolve around people.

– Alicia Martínez Díaz

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AMD: Soy Alicia, de algún lugar de la Mancha, y resido en Madrid (España) desde hace más de 15 años, ciudad que conozco por tanto muy bien y que cumple a la perfección el dicho: “de Madrid al cielo”. Y debe de ser verdad, porque aunque siempre estoy ávida por conocer lugares nuevos, siempre estoy ávida también por regresar después. Estudié un símil de Bellas Artes en un lugar tan peculiar como la Casa de la Moneda, en otras palabras, el lugar donde se fabrica el dinero en España. Mientras de día aprendía con una mano a grabar, dibujar y diseñar becada y mimada durante 4 años; con la otra, de noche, y de manera eventual para conseguir algo de dinero extra, destruía con una troqueladora millones de euros empaquetados en fajos de billetes… irónico, y un acto que, aunque no tuviera nada que ver con el aspecto artístico, tenía su evidente carga simbólica y sirve de ayuda para relativizar la importancia a lo material y concentrarse en el lado más espiritual de la vida. Desde hace más de diez años soy cofundadora de mi propio estudio de diseño (91Nueveuno), pequeño y con ganas de ayudar a aquellos que nos llaman a descubrir lo que necesitan y todavía no saben, haciendo de medium entre lo utilitario y lo artístico. Pero mi pasión real son los libros, la música y, sobre todo, fotografiar.

AMD: My name is Alicia, I’m from a place in la Mancha, and I’ve been living in Madrid for over 15 years – so it’s a city that I know really well and it fulfills the saying “de Madrid al cielo” (“from Madrid to Heaven”). And it must be true, because although I’m always eager to get to know new places, I’m also always eager to return [to Madrid] afterwards. I studied Fine Arts in a place as strange as la Casa de la Moneda (the Royal Mint), in other words, the place where they print money in Spain. Meanwhile, during the day I studied film, drawing, and design on a 4-year scholarship; on the other hand, at night, in a sporadic way in order to earn a little extra money, I used a machine press to turn thousands of packaged euros into bundles of bills… ironic, and an act that, although it had nothing to do with the arts, had it’s own apparent symbolic responsibility, and served to help me diminish the importance of material [things] and concentrate on the more spiritual side of life. For over ten years I’ve been the cofounder of my own design studio (91Nuevueno), a small project with the desire to help those who ask us to discover what they need but don’t already know, operating in between utilitarian and artistic aspects. But my real passions are books, music, and more than anything, photography.

Alicia Martínez Díaz - Barcelona

Alicia Martínez Díaz – Barcelona

Alicia Martínez Díaz - Berlin

Alicia Martínez Díaz – Berlin

Que quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AMD: Para mí, reflexión es pararse a pensar. La respuesta, casi siempre, actuar. Reflexionar es hacer un repaso de nuestro “histórico” personal, emocional, intelectual (y, en mi caso, especialmente importante también, el visual) y, en base a nuestro objetivo previo, decidir qué deseamos hacer. Con todo ello en mi cabeza y sin que la reflexión sea eterna para no caer en la “parálisis por análisis”, me dispongo “a pasar a limpio” lo dibujado y escrito en mi mente, ya sea diseñando o fotografiando. Pasando a una dimensión real esos planos de mi pensamiento. De todos modos lo que realmente lo inunda todo, tanto en lo personal como en lo profesional, es el factor X de la intuición. Ese intangible mágico y decisorio que se encuentra entre la reflexión y la respuesta. Para mí es lo realmente determinante. Y que en el caso del artista es lo realmente fundamental. Yo diría que ahí es donde reside el verdadero talento.

AMD: For me, reflection means to stop and think. Response, almost always, is to act. Reflection involves taking another look at our personal, emotional, intellectual (and, especially important in my case, visual) “histories,” and based on our individual objectives, deciding what we’d like to do. With all this in my mind, however, I run the risk of falling into the trap of reflection leading to “paralysis via over-analysis,” and I often start over from scratch both in design and photography.

Alicia Martínez Díaz - Madrid

Alicia Martínez Díaz – Madrid

Alicia Martínez Díaz - Madrid

Alicia Martínez Díaz – Madrid

Alicia Martínez Díaz - Madrid

Alicia Martínez Díaz – Madrid

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AMD: Es diferente, aunque no radicalmente, si se trata por tanto de un proyecto personal o de un encargo por parte de un cliente. Cuando se trata de un encargo en el desarrollo de la reflexión serán claves también las premisas del briefing del proyecto y, aunque el resto de pasos del proceso sean los mismos, será necesario sumar un análisis más condicionado y un timing más estricto, eso seguro, pero también debe satisfacerme a mí además de al cliente. Jugar como decía entre lo utilitario y lo artístico. En el proyecto personal los límites los pongo yo. Es más experimental: lo emocional y lo intuitivo lo llenan todo…

AMD: This is different, though not radically, depending on whether I’m working on a project for a client or a personal project. For orders, the premise of the client’s instructions are instrumental for reflection, and though the [creative] process is the same [as a personal project], working for a client is more conditional and requires strict timing; however client orders should be satisfying for both the customer and myself. [This process] involves working between pragmaticism and artistry. [Alternatively,] I set the limits on personal projects. These are more experimental: these are projects filled with emotion and intuition.

Que más estás haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Ebru Yildiz

Ebru Yildiz is a New York-based music photographer that we met through Adela Laconte. Active in the New York music scene, she breaks down the role of Reflection and Response in music photography/portraiture into two concurrent yet distinct concepts: a photographer’s effort to capture the musician in his or her response to/through music, and the photographer’s own response to the performance. She showcases some of her recent music photography work, talks about the process of creating meaningful, expressive portraits, and discusses expanding her craft with an upcoming project using a photographic process developed in the 1850s called “wet collodion.” Check the dialogue and prints from this artist steeped deep in exploration and creation!

Ebru Yildiz | Photo by Mitchell King

Ebru Yildiz | Photo by Mitchell King

In order to make meaningful portraits, you really need to have interest in people other than yourself; you need to have a genuine interest what they have to say, what their story is…No two people’s stories are the same, no two people’s feelings could ever be the same when they are faced with similar situations.

– Ebru Yildiz

Ebru Yildiz - Shilpa Ray

Ebru Yildiz – Shilpa Ray

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

EY: I was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. I moved to New York-where I have always dreamed of living- the minute I finished college. And I started making photos few years after that. When I was in Turkey, I always preferred to go to live shows than any other club scene that was so popular back then. So when I moved here, it took me a minute but I eventually found “the” places to go and see music. I was always at shows, so making photos at the shows came as an extension of that lifestyle. After I developed a certain style that I was happy with, in order to keep things exciting for myself, I decided to take a little break from shooting live shows with exception of occasional shows here and there and focused on personal projects and making portraits. Right now, I think it is a healthy mix of all three.

And I am still in New York where I hope to live for the rest of my days if I am lucky!

Ebru Yildiz - Savages

Ebru Yildiz – Savages

Ebru Yildiz - Savages

Ebru Yildiz – Savages

Ebru Yildiz - Psychic Ills

Ebru Yildiz – Psychic Ills

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

EY: When you say response, I can’t help but think the other end of the spectrum, which for me is reaction. I believe being able to respond to things happening to you rather than reacting to them is a difficult form of art to master. Not everybody can succeed in taking the time to think about what is actually happening, listen to how they really feel about it and/or put themselves in the shoes of the other person before they decide how to go about it. I always make a conscious effort to respond to things around me but having the hot Mediterranean blood in me definitely makes it a challenge at times. I only hope at some point in my life, it is going to come naturally.

Ebru Yildiz - Jason Pierce

Ebru Yildiz – Jason Pierce

To me, reflection means to take the time to look at what I have done so far and going forward questioning if I should change anything about them. During this process, being able to acknowledge good as well as bad with all honesty is super crucial. I never understood why people cannot be humble and are so afraid of admitting negative things about themselves. These only show you are a strong person and nothing else. Either ways, I believe even the acknowledgement of the need to change is a gigantic step in and of itself. Being able to make the changes you think you should is a completely other animal though. And it takes time.

Ebru Yildiz - Mitchell King

Ebru Yildiz – Mitchell King

How does your work fit in with that definition?

EY: Well, I have never thought about reflection and/or response in terms of my photography but now that I did, I can see that it comes out the most for portraits. The photographer and the subject respond to each other continuously. People feed off of each other. If you are in a good mood, it is going to rub off on people around you, if you are not in a good mood, that is going to rub off on people too. So it is a constant flow of emotions back and forth. I remember I used to try to get a certain emotion out of people, for that reason I liked making people uneasy, and uncomfortable by asking incredibly private questions during the shoot. But right now, I take joy in letting the people I photograph just be. I become mindful of what they allow me to see and try to focus on those. So I guess it is kind of reflecting what I think they project to me back into the photograph, if that makes any sense. But everything is so subjective. At the end it is collaboration. It is my interpretation of what my subjects let me see. Regardless, I personally think that in order to make meaningful portraits, you really need to have interest in people other than yourself; you need to have a genuine interest what they have to say, what their story is.

Ebru Yildiz - Frankie Rose

Ebru Yildiz – Frankie Rose

Ebru Yildiz - Tamaryn

Ebru Yildiz – Tamaryn

As for live photographs, I think in those, I am focused on catching musicians’ own response to their own creation, of course that combined with my own response to their music. And like everyone else I respond differently to different music. I heard my husband talking about my work to a friend once; he was saying that he thinks that most of my live photographs are like portraits of those people who happen to be playing a live show. I don’t think I have ever heard a bigger compliment than that.

Ebru Yildiz - Thee Oh Sees

Ebru Yildiz – Thee Oh Sees

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Maryanne Ventrice

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!

Maryanne Ventrice | Photo by Jessica Amaya

Maryanne Ventrice | Photo by Jessica Amaya

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.

Maryanne Ventrice - DIIV Kidrockers (Brooklyn Bowl)

Maryanne Ventrice – DIIV, Kidrockers (Brooklyn Bowl)

Maryanne Ventrice - Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice – Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice - Jesse Malin Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice – Jesse Malin, Kidrockers (The Rock Shop)

Maryanne Ventrice - Twin Shadow, Kidrockers (Winter's Eve)

Maryanne Ventrice – Twin Shadow, Kidrockers (Winter’s Eve Festival)

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.

Maryanne Ventrice - The National (Bowery Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice – The National (Bowery Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice - Drink Up Buttercup (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Maryanne Ventrice – Drink Up Buttercup (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Maryanne Ventrice - Pet Shop Boys (Hammerstein Ballroom)

Maryanne Ventrice – Pet Shop Boys (Hammerstein Ballroom)

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:

Maryanne Ventrice - Kristin Martinez (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Kristin Martinez (Daughter)

Maryanne Ventrice - Simon Henderson (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Simon Henderson (Music Industry Professional)

Maryanne Ventrice - Jen Hirano (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Jen Hirano (Friend)

Maryanne Ventrice - Elon James White (Delineate)

Maryanne Ventrice – Elon James White (Political Pundit, Entrepreneur)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Lou Rouse

Lou Rouse is a Baltimore-bred / New York-based photographer who has been working on his craft since moving to the city at 20 years old. Lou brings up the bountiful opportunities that inspire response in the city – from the various active creative venues to the uniquely diverse and energetic character of the city. He strives to depict and describe the intangible in his work, eschewing more obvious images for interesting emotions of environments and specific passing moments in time. In our dialogue below, Lou breaks down some powerful aspects and responsibilities of art in relation to surrounding social environments. We’ve been fortunate enough to have collaborated with Lou before, and we’re looking forward to more opportunities to do so in the future. Check the word!

Lou Rouse

People get uncomfortable around art and artists because of [the power of art], and because art is not empirical. But because art succeeds where politics and policy fail, art plays a critical role in the survival of humanity. So artists must take care of themselves and other artists. Artists must learn how to survive in the current system while making the good work that will change it.

– Lou Rouse

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

LR: I am from Baltimore, Maryland. Grew up in the city until I was 17. Went to college in Michigan for a year and then moved to NYC at age 20 and have pretty much been here ever since. Worked on films and other odd jobs, then I started assisting fashion photographers. Being a visual person, I really got in to how photographers brought a vision to a set and carried it out with the help of other talented visual people. Eventually people began to ask me for my vision on creative projects, and that is where I happily am now.

Lou Rouse - Untitled

Lou Rouse – Untitled

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

LR: Reflection and response are crucial elements of art, of being an artist. For me, and I’m sure many other artists, the desire is to balance intake and output. In New York City you can consume a lot of great theater, museum and gallery shows, fashion, music, food, or just walk around and be inspired by the fantastic diversity and energy. It’s enjoyable just to witness…but if you are a creative type you begin to feel frustrated if you are not responding in some form. I’m always challenging myself to respond more and to better articulate my observations. But to survive as an artist you have to make the process enjoyable. It’s a tricky balance.

Lou Rouse - Habanero

Lou Rouse – Habanero

How does your work fit in with that definition?

LR: An important part of my work is capturing the emotion of an environment, form and moment. I’m really fascinated when there is this intense feeling in the light, facial expression, lines, movements or gestures, but I can’t fully explain where that emotion is coming from. If a photo is obvious to me I delete it. All the pieces you see here are me trying to describe things that are intangible and moving to me.

Lou Rouse - Untitled

Lou Rouse – Untitled

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

 

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Artist Feature: Adela Loconte

We first met music photographer Adela Loconte at the same Charles Bradley show where we met fellow photographer Ken-Grand Pierre. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Adela started her own production and photography company while completing her masters’ degree in advertising. She then lived in London and Barcelona and worked as a producer for the CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival while also shooting/producing at the Sonár Music Festival. She then moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she’s been shooting concerts and musicians nonstop. Adela links reflection to introspection and learning about the self, which can lead to meaningful response through actions.  For Adela, a photograph represents a reflection of a moment, a “register of time.” Peep the interview and some of her awesome images below!

Adela Loconte | Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Adela Loconte | Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it.

– Adela Loconte

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AL: Hola! My name is Adela and I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela but my roots are Italian.

I finished high school when I was 16 years old and started to study advertising in Caracas. During my second semester, I started to take photography classes, and became interested in it. I went on to get my masters degree in advertising at Santa María University, and while studying, I interned at Saatchi & Saatchi Caracas. After interning, I decided to open my own company with a friend and focus on production, photography, and design. Saatchi & Saatchi became our client, along with Leo Burnett, Venevision TV, Planeta Urbe and Loquesea.com, amongst others.

Adela Loconte - Charles Bradley (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Adela Loconte – Charles Bradley (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

While I was in school for my masters degree and running my company, I decided to enroll in a photography school called “Imagomundi.” I really got into it and I spent two years there taking different types of analog camera courses.

After I finished my masters degree and my photography courses in Caracas, I decided to close my company in 2001, and head to the UK to continue my photography studies.

I chose London, because it’s where all of my favorite music was from, and I enjoyed the English sense of humor.  I started a Postgraduate degree in Photography at University of the Arts London, and was so excited that I sometimes even went to school on Saturdays!

I enjoyed London so much for 3 years. I studied a lot. I met incredible people there. I enjoyed cultural exchanges. I enjoyed amazing shows and festivals and it was time to leave, because the weather was not helping my tropical side. So, I flew to Barcelona, Spain where the weather was better and I could go to the beach as much as I wanted. I spend almost 4 years [there]. I worked there for CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival, and Sonár Music Festival. I learned so much and had a blast, working as a producer for both festivals.

Adela Loconte - Courtney Barnett

Adela Loconte – Courtney Barnett

The last Sonár Music Festival I worked. I got the opportunity to do two different jobs at the time, one for Barcelona and the other one for Venezuela. Apart of working on the production side at Sonár, I got to shoot the festival for the main newspaper in Venezuela called “El Nacional”, when all of the sudden my camera got stolen in the middle of the festival. At that moment, I only had on my mind how many months of hard work were gone, instead of the camera and the films the thief took.

When I was living in London I put my self into the craziest schedule someone could have lived in. I was sleeping about 5 hours a day. Finishing my Photography Master, having a daytime job during the week at a company and during weekends at nighttime a job as a bartender, and I was also studying on Saturdays. My goal at that time was buying this amazing camera I was dreaming with, it was a Nikon F5 (film camera) and some lenses and new flash. I worked for 6 months nonstop. I was falling asleep everywhere, at the university, in the train, at the bus, and at the office. I aimed for the Nikon camera, 5 Nikon lenses and a Nikon flash and finished everything I put myself into it. All those months on nonstop work just got stolen at a festival.

I feel so much frustration after that episode that I went into different life phases. I did produce photographers. I did assistant photographers. I quit for some time photography and then I came back. Barcelona at that time was starting to go into their economical crisis; companies where paying really bad and I couldn’t get a new camera as fast as I did in London.

Adela Loconte - Kirin J Callinan

Adela Loconte – Kirin J Callinan

So, time to start again! Let’s leave Barcelona for New York!

First, I came to New York to visit for a month and out of the blue, the most hardcore city open its arms and super welcoming me! I never thought I was going to live here, honestly. Basically, I have been based in Williamsburg for the past 7 years. I been working for CMJ Online, CMJ Music Marathon Festival, Brooklyn Vegan, SPIN, and IMPOSE magazine.

I also worked for Vme Media/Channel Thirteen, Sheik ‘n’ Beik, and Metal Magazine as a Producer.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AL: Reflection is our own introspection and the willingness to learn more about our own nature, purpose in life and essence. Through introspection we find responses, those that make us create a plan to develop our own path and to aim our goals.

There is a wonderful quote by W.T. Yeats, that I really like, and it says “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than is does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

Adela Loconte - Red Hot Chili Peppers (Barclays Center)

Adela Loconte – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Barclays Center)

How do music photography and portrait photography fit in with that definition?

AL: Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it. [With] portraits I’m all about people’s essence and their anatomy.

The response will be my introspection towards music. Music is a worldwide language and Photography is the register of the time.

Adela Loconte - Franz Ferdinand (Hammerstein Ballroom)

Adela Loconte – Franz Ferdinand (Hammerstein Ballroom)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: M’hammed Kilito

I first met M’hammed Kilito while we were both exchange students at the same university in Buenos Aires, Argentina a few years back. I knew “Moh” would often travel around the city with a camera in hand, and he continues to push this visual medium in new creative ways today. His photographs highlight interesting and seemingly ubiquitous mechanisms and ideas to tell stories of reality – for example, one series that caught our eye is grounded in reflecting on and responding to the prevalence of digital and mobile cameras in public space.

M’hammed’s feature is filled with inspiring and critical thought-provoking explorations from a perspective informed by a global experience. We’re excited to see what’s in store with his future projects, including a visual ethnographic analysis of traditional Moroccan garments and cultural globalization. Lets dig in!

M'hammed Kilito

I think that Reflection and Response are two interconnected words that can’t exist one without the other. It is a circular cause and effect relationship we go through all our life, because the response we have today isn’t necessarily right or suitable tomorrow.

– M’hammed Kilito

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MK: I’m from Morocco, but I was born in Lviv in Ukraine. My parents got scholarships to study dentistry there and it happened that I was conceived during that time. I’ve been raised in Morocco’s capital Rabat, an extremely beautiful city on the Atlantic coast that often people miss visiting while touring the country, going instead to Casablanca, the city made famous by the movie directed by Michael Curtiz, or Marrakech, the most touristic city in the country. Once I was 18, I moved to Spain for 2 years before moving to Canada. In 2009, I had the chance to go for a university exchange to Buenos Aires, Argentina and it was definitely the craziest trip I have done after Burning Man.

I was fortunate to live in different countries and to learn many languages, but it really makes answering the question where I’m from not an easy task at all.  All the cities where I lived have a special place in my heart. In each one of them, I had the chance to meet some wonderful people that had a huge impact on me and contributed immensely to shape the person I’m today. I really believe that we are, to some extent, the product of our socialization.

Roy

Tram

Old Woman

TriangleV

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MK: Those two words mean everything to me and to all of us actually, they are our everyday reality, there is nothing we can do without reflecting and finding responses. I think that Reflection and Response are two interconnected words that can’t exist one without the other. It is a circular cause and effect relationship we go through all our life, because the response we have today isn’t necessarily right or suitable tomorrow. The most intelligent and creative people I’ve met are constantly reflecting on who they are, what matters to them, what should they do next and how they should do it. It keeps us going further, improving and becoming better persons.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

MK: Reflection is a homograph, a word written the same but has two meanings. “… I am a reflection photographing other reflections within a reflection. To photograph reality is to photograph nothing.”  Those words are not mine, but those of the great American photographer Duane Michals. I think people often misunderstand the function of photography, they think they are photographing reality while the response in my opinion should be that the function of photography is to reflect reality and imitate it with authenticity.

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If I push myself to define the kind of photography I do, I will say that the conceptual framework of my photographic series usually follows two distinct axes. The first, focuses on the boundaries that define reality and illusion, in which I create the moment by staging the photographs. The second axis, is more within the documentary tradition, I play with various contexts to tell stories and explore new ideas, and instead of creating the moment, I seize it.   

Chien

What else have you been working on recently?

MK: I just finished a project made of two series I called Homo photographicus. Through these two series, I explore the transformation photography is going through at this crucial moment in the history of images. I ponder over the role of digital and compact cameras’ proliferation, their incorporation into mobile telephones, and the influence of the internet and social networks on today’s photography practice.

Initially, this project wasn’t planned at all, the idea came to me the day I purchased a wide angle lens and decided to go to the Montreal botanical gardens to try it. Thinking to shoot the impressive living plant sculptures they have there during summertime, I ended up being more interested in the people taking the pictures of family and friends in front of the sculptures, so I turned my lens toward them and started working on the Homo photographicus project right away. A few weeks later, I went to The United States, France, Portugal, Spain and Morocco and I kept going to public spaces to photograph people taking pictures.

The first series is an illustration of how cameras are everywhere in public spaces. I’m not interested in saying it is good or it is bad, but I observe that it became increasingly difficult to photograph a scene that doesn’t include an individual who is also taking a photograph.

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Insectarium

The second series is a reflection on the influence of social networks on photography. Social networks focus on spreading their use by staging intimacy as well as providing the ability to see without being seen. These practices have contributed to the popularization of certain types of photographs, such as the selfies. So I decided to contact and photograph my friend Céline AKA the Selfies Queen who has more than 300 selfie pictures.

Selfie 2, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 3, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 5, Digital, 10x10

Selfie 7, Digital, 10x10

What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Ken Grand-Pierre

Ken Grand-Pierre is a New York-based music photographer whose lens captures images that recall specific moments and feelings. His love of concerts and live music help fuel his work in this epicenter of creativity. Ken’s photography spans shots of shows as well as his unique “Day in the Life” series which captures images of musicians the day leading up to a performance. Ken has been his on grind and has had the opportunity to photograph the music and performance activities of many dope artists. Throughout his piece Ken touches on his diverse influences, the idea of eschewing perfection in the creation of art, ideas of Reflection and Response, and stories of capturing music through images.

Ken Grand-Pierre

Photo by Nicole Mago

Fuck the idea of perfection and resources. Perfectionists are important in our lives but never allow perfection to be the reason you hold back from doing something; make mistakes and learn from them…

– Ken Grand-Pierre

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

KGP: Hello, my name is Ken Grand-Pierre! I’m originally from a small town called Rockland County, which is forty minutes outside of NYC. I am now based in NYC and have been for about six years on and off (more on then off though). Rockland is an area that I always felt I had to get out of, especially from a very small age. There’s good people there but it’s not a place where creativity can thrive, at least not to it’s full potential, so while growing up I’d always see NYC as the epic centre of everything and being able to be here now, being part of it all is still something that’s wild to me.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

KGP: Both of those words are strong to me, especially because I find them to be both cohesive and universal with how humans are in general. I think the smartest people I’ve ever come across are the ones who are constantly reflecting on the experiences and decisions in their lives and responding to those reflections in a willful manner. You can’t get anywhere in life unless you have the will to do things, to take risks with your life in any size and variety, and I believe the most important choices you can make in life come from reflection and response.

Ken Grand-Pierre - The 1975

Ken Grand-Pierre – The 1975

How does your work fit in with that definition?

KGP: The pieces I chose to accompany this interview are photos that just take me back to a moment instantly. When it comes to covering shows I love working with artists I know close to little about just as much as artists I already admire. I also believe that no one should ever limit themselves to just one genre. It blows my mind how many music fans (even fellow photographers) I’ve come across who are so closed-minded. People who say things like ‘Oh Indie music? Gross!’ or ‘I wouldn’t be caught dead at a Rap show!’ things like that make me immensely dumbfounded, especially if you’re a music photographer you should aim to do as many different things as possible. The shot I specifically picked for this question is of Rónán (AKA Ro) from Irish band Delorentos.

Ken Grand-Pierre - Rónán of Delorentos

Ken Grand-Pierre – Rónán of Delorentos

They’re one of my favorite bands and have been for years, and I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see them live. Last year they released a new album and came to NYC to play a show to promote it. I jumped at the chance to do it but I also aimed to spend the day with them for a ‘Day In The Life’ type of photo feature. I had never done one before and I had no idea how to prepare or anything haha but I just went about it naturally and tried my best. This photo was taken right after the show. The band came off stage and I went backstage (well technically downstairs since it was at Mercury Lounge and the green room is a cellar) and Ro was about to grab a towel when I propped up my camera and said ‘Ro! Have a scream!’ and he did hahaha it was absolutely random and the thought occurred in seconds but it’s one of my favorite shots haha. I picked this shot because when I think of reflection/response I think of things that accumulate, as well as things that happen quickly yet seamlessly. My passion for Delorentos brought me to that show and the fact I love what I do allowed me to spend the day with them, so it all kind of comes together in a cause/effect sort of way.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

KGP: I’ve mostly been photographing musicians like always but also doing ‘Day In The Life’ photo features with bands. That’s when I’ll spend a day with a band and photograph the day as it leads up to the show. It’s what I enjoy doing the most and I’m hoping to expand on that. My biggest goals now are to eventually tour with a band and photograph a European music festival. I think when it comes to aspirations those are the two clearest ones I have that’d make me feel complete in some way, shape, or form. I mean people always go on about buying a house or getting good credit but things like that seem so boring to me. You should naturally get good credit and a house in your life so why not aspire for something bigger? For something more? Something I love is when I do something like shoot a festival or an arena show and there’s a moment where I’ll look about and wonder ‘….wow….how the fuck did I get here?’ so I think my ultimate goal is chasing that beautiful feeling.

Ken Grand-Pierre - Glasvegas

Ken Grand-Pierre – Glasvegas

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Tony Currie

Tony Currie is a photographer originally from Spokane, Washington. After relocating to Seattle, Washington, Tony continued practicing the art of photography and through his lens captures the dope world around us that can easily be overseen. Tony tackles the questions of the Feature head on and delves into his unique ideas about Reflection and Response, his photographic journey, plans to capture the dope natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and other themes below.   

Tony Currie

To be self-aware and true to yourself, you need to spend the same amount of time and energy in thought as you do in action.

– Tony Currie

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

TC: I was born and raised in Spokane, WA. If you haven’t been there, it’s a medium-sized city with a small-town feel. Sure it has its shortcomings, but I’m proud to have grown up there. I was fortunate to live there my entire upbringing and it will always be my home. I moved to Seattle to pursue higher education and have lived here ever since. Seattle is great. I’ve lived here for almost seven years now and have no plans of going elsewhere anytime soon. 

Tony Currie - Winter Sun

Tony Currie – Winter Sun

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

TC: To me, Reflection is about knowing who you are, where you’re at, and what really matters to you. It’s peering inside your mind, shutting out all the external noise, and thinking deeply. I realize more and more each day how important it is to be self-aware. I haven’t quite gotten to meditation exercises yet, but maybe down the road someday. 🙂

The Response is equally important to the Reflection. What is the worth of a Response without any investment in Reflection? What is the point of Reflection if you’re not Responding to your thoughts? For me, to be self-aware and true to yourself, you need to spend the same amount of time and energy in thought as you do in action.

Tony Currie - Winter Sun

Tony Currie – Winter Sun

How does photography fit in with that definition?

TC: Photography is a very expressive medium and has no end. This plays right into Reflection and Response. I make a point to only shoot what I enjoy (which happens to change all the time). I think that is the single most important piece of learning and growing with your passion. For example, I was obsessed with macro photography for a couple of months. I would take endless photos of interesting and under-appreciated textures. The natural stuff like wood grain, moss and lichen, all the way to fabrics, microtechnology… the list goes on. These days that doesn’t interest me much though.

Tony Currie - Winter Sun

Tony Currie – Winter Sun

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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