“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
Do you really see the surrounding reality through the lenses of Magic?
I believe reality is a relative concept. There are so many diverse ways of viewing what surrounds us. We shape our own reality based on our experiences. Some of us find magic in the most unexpected places.
Does your Colombian origin somehow influence your choice of themes. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I am fortunate to say that I come from a very rich country. Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world, it has been one of the biggest pioneers in Literature, Music , and Arts in Latin America. Our population is an ethnic mix of Indigenous, Spanish and African roots , whose cultural elements have brought together a unique and diverse country. The mix of nature and myth has shaped my inspiration, as I channel the magical realism found in the works of literary masters such as Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez.
Do you consider yourself more a contemporary artist or a Fashion photographer?
I consider myself an artist because I don’t like putting a “filter” to my work. Most times with fashion photography you have to meet certain guidelines and you will always have someone telling you what to do. Art is more honest, more selfish. I enjoy doing fashion as long as the vision of you as a photographer is respected and there is a flexible, open-minded team willing to work with you.
I’ve read, you worked for Del Pozzo. Is it your personal choice. How do you choose the Fashion brands to work with? Do you have any personal preferences?
I spend some of my time photographing behind the scenes during shows at New York Fashion Week. The experience at the Del Pozo shows has been magical. There is something about the madness that fascinates me. There were beautiful women running around in dreamy clothes in the middle of photographers, makeup artists, stylists. I find it interesting to set my camera and look for true magical realism.
Tell us about your Venice Biennale experience- your Body study that has been selected, and your own impressions after all.
Going to Venice was great. During the fair I showcased my most recent series titled “One Piece Man,” where I photograph the nude body, digitally deconstruct it, and then reconstruct it; resulting in curious compositions. The response was great, people could admire and question the fragility and imperfection of the human body, celebrated and reinvented in a very contemporary and poetic manner.
What are the essential keys for success for a modern artist? Is there any recipe for achieving the global recognition?
The best advice I can ever give someone is to love their art. My art is my most powerful possession. I have to nurture it, I have to fight for it, I have to stick to it. If you value what you do, you will not care about how many times you are rejected or told you’re not good enough; you will not rest until you succeed. Doing art for money is what kills an artist. Vision should always go first.
What do you think in fact about contemporary photography. There are so many street photographers, fashion gurus, society boys, catching the glorious moment on their iPhone cameras. What is true and what is false in your profession?
With the rise of technology photography is changing its course. It is very available to all of us in our phones, but that doesn’t make everyone a photographer. What some people don’t understand is that photography is much more than just a pretty image. There is inspiration, research, history, brainstorming, technique, taste, behind every project.
You often take pictures if human body- even your own. What is your perception of the body? What are you trying to show? Did You get any inspiration from Robert Mapplethorpe?
Self portraits are an artistic and spiritual experiment. Through this medium I can tell stories with my body, which is my instrument and my company in every stage of my life. At the same time it is a process of introspection, where I am behind the camera and in the same image, creating a historic world all drawn from my memories and experiences; told by my body and soul. Mapplethorpe is definitely one of my biggest inspirations because he demystified the male nude and celebrated our sexuality in a very beautiful manner.
Supposing the future- what would be the role of an artist with a camera in the future of Contemporary Art?
The eye of a photographer will never be replaced by technology. Taking a photograph is an experience that goes beyond the click of the button. A successful photographer is he who can breathe behind the lens, freezing time and space, and feeling when it’s right to immortalize the moment.