Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Paul Paper

Paul Paper
Vilnius, Lithuania
just have some vision

I had the chance to interview Paul:

For how long did you travel for your project "Photodiaries: sofa trip around Europe" and where did you go?

It took me almost two months to visit 15 places in Europe: from Arad in Romania and Sofia in Bulgaria to Paris, London, Vienna, Marseilles etc.

What was one of the best part of this project besides taking photographs in different places?

Photographs are only visual reminder of the trip which was all about the whole experience of the lone long-distance traveler visiting strangers. The nice part was to get out of train and meet someone you just had a vague idea about. And to know them, to learn about their life.

How important do you think are online zines for photography or art in general?

If by zines, you mean blogs as well - quite/very important.

What is your favourite dish?

My girlfriend says I like tasteless dishes. Some of my favorites: non-flavored corn chips, cream vegetable soup and almost anything from my grandpa's garden.

Street photography and pictures in urban settings are one "part" of photographic art. Is there a city you like best for such a setting, for your own work or also when looking at pictures of other photographers?

I am inspired by strange, abandoned places rather than mass of buildings, therefore I like to visit countryside or small forgotten towns. Eastern Europe is full of the later.

Is there a book about photography you would recommend?

There are a lot of great photography books coming out of independent publishers, but I would to notice "The Hotel" book (pub. 1984) by Sophie Calle.

The latest movie you watched?

Yesterday I watched "La chinoise" by Jean-Luc Godard.

If you could interview one artist of your choice, whichever art he or she might engage in, who would it be?

I would have liked very much to talk with Lithuanian semiotician Algirdas Julius Greimas.

Are you currently engaging or planning on new projects?

I'm working on a film project that is still at an early stage at the moment.

The best part of getting older?

Getting little better and little smarter.

Amazing photographer, be sure to take a look at his flickr, website and blog!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Svetlana Mijic

Svetlana Mijic
Novi Sad, Serbia
Postcards from Serbia

A little interview with Svetlana reveals:

Where were most of your pictures on flickr taken?

Most of my pictures were taken in Bukovac.

Do you decide to either black/white or colour film beforehand, or do you arbitrarily shoot with the film that happens to be in your camera?

I just like having my camera at my side, i don't mind what's in it.

As Christmas holidays have begun or are about to (and Hannukah already passed), the time of going home or visiting friends has also started. Now, travelling by train sometimes is linked to a sort of 'nostalgia'. Do you feel the same way and do you like to travel by train?

I totally agree! I love trains, but traveling by train makes me sad, I think of all the people who take part from each other.

Who is your best 'photography-friend'?

I work alone :)) My sister fjgdgfhdjgdfgjha.

You have a lot of pictures of children in your flickr gallery. What is special about photographing them?

That is my sister you see on photographs, and she is such an inspiration. Her every movement makes for one great photo.

One thing you most probably would not want to photograph ever?

I would never get into peoples faces, like some street photographers do.

If you could choose one item to add to your equipment, what would it be?

One medium format camera, and a lot of lenses. All kinds of lenses.

Who do you think takes the best pictures of you?

Tamo neki, aubögte and fjgdgfhdjgdfgjha took the best shots of me.

Your daily preference: tea or coffee?

A big cup of coffee with my boyfriend, that takes a whole day.

Would you say it's easier or more difficult to take pictures of family members?

For me, it´s easier.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. True?


Check it out, take a look at her flickr!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Jocelyn Catterson

Jocelyn Catterson
Evergreen, Colorado
Freckled Cup: website flickr group
milk and cream for the eye

It was a true pleasure interviewing Jocelyn:

"drinking out of the freckled cup is a project to showcase the beauty of people, light, warmth, color, lack of color, skin, touch, mountains, exploration, and most things in between. "
Can you tell more about "Freckled Cup"? How did the idea develop?

Well the name is actually based off of a mug that I always drink tea out of in my house, which looks freckled on the inside. Ha. But the idea of the site is based off a weekend I spend with a good friend of mine up in Winter Park, and this bit of writing: "Your fingers upon my back connecting the dots. Drinking tea out of the freckled cup and waiting for you to come back home. Waiting for there to be a home outside of this one. Keeping warm under white sheets. Wanting to be closer than science will allow us." It made me want to find a way to showcase many of those things I experienced while on the trip, visually and emotionally. The little things, the big things, the in between things. Afterwards, I came home, and created the site. There are so many amazing photographers out there who are fantastic at capturing things in such a truthful but hauntingly beautiful way, I want to put them all together in one place.

What do you like most about living in Evergreen, Colorado?

I like the mountains the most. I like being able to walk out my back door into the wild, in a sense. Even though the town is really close to the capital, it's so serene in places. My friends and I climb mountains and picnic all the time. I love it.

One reason to choose film over digital?

When I use film instead of a digital, I'm more careful and picky about the pictures that I take. I don't have an unlimited amount of pictures, so I only take the pictures that I feel will truly look wonderful. Film is nice because I normally end up with better looking pictures. Film also has more honesty; there's no editing or photoshop involved, and that's what I love about it.

And one reason to choose digital over film?

I definitely prefer film over digital, but digital is incredibly convenient. It's also amazing what you can do with a digital camera now-a-days.

What do you do with the pictures that did not turn out too well?

I keep all of my film pictures. Even the horrible ones. I still have pictures from way back in 6th grade. Haha. They get put into various folders and cabinets. Some are forgotten and then I'll find them again years later. I never throw away anything. I'm sort of a pack rat. It's nice to be able to look back on them.

Is there a movie or painting which would fit into the concept of "Freckled Cup"?

Oh goodness. If you combined The Go-Getter, Everything Is Illuminated, and Wristcutters, the concept of "Freckled Cup" would be completely covered. As much as the site is about the visual aspect of things, it is about the feeling that those visuals create. Those three movies have wonderful cinematography and, for me, at least, they evoke the feelings that I want all the pictures on the site to create.

When you are unsure about submitting or exhibitting a picture, who do you consult most often?

My best friend Jeremy. I consult him about everything. I always get his opinions on the pictures I submit because it's nice to get a second opinion. He's also quite the photographer himself, though he would never admit to it. There are a few pictures of me that he has taken on my Flickr, actually. I know he has a good eye and good taste, so I always go to him.

If you were to do the photography work for an album cover and booklet, which artist(s) would you want to work with?

I like this question. Haha. The Black Keys or Sigur Ros, I would love to work with either one of those bands. I have recently become infatuated with the voice of Dan Auerbach, the lead singer of the Black Keys. His voice is like honey. I would love to do a album cover or booklet for them. Also, Sigur Ros is such a bizarre and wonderful group. Their music video for the song Gobbledigook was done by Ryan McGinely, who happens to be one of my favorite photographers, and is about four minutes of people running naked through the woods. They seem like they would be a wonderful group to work with.

For a day to be perfect, you definitely need...

Tea. Good music. Good company. And some place to explore.

If you got a space to curate an exhibition, which artists would you invite to participate?

Ana Cabaleiro (coquinete) would be the first person I would ask. I would also ask Hannah Davis. They are both phenomenal photographers and wonderful people. They lead fascinated lives and it shows in their photographs. But there are so many fantastic people on Flickr, and people who have submitted to Freckled Cup, it would be hard to choose. Ana and Hannah would definitely be at the top of my list.

Why do you think have paintings and photographs become as essential to human culture as they are now?

I like this question too. You have sent really good questions. Haha. I have actually spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I think it has a lot to do with the human race's fear of death. That sounds morbid, but the thing is that we want to be able to remember things and people long after they are gone, so we capture them in photographs and paintings. Art has become a way for people to make their memories immortal, in a way.

Do you have a favourite director/film maker?

I am actually horrible at remembering names of actors, film makers, producers, or anything along those lines. But I am absolutely fascinated with cinematography and may be trying to create some sort of documentary very soon. I really enjoy the way that Harold and Maude is filmed, along with The Go-Getter, which I mentioned earlier. The way that those movies were filmed and directed are fantastic.

Have some delicious sips; visit her flickr and be sure to also look at the Freckled Cup!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Project by Jostein Wålengen: hot wire my heart

Jostein Wålengen
Oslo, Norway
project: hot wire my heart

Some questions I asked Jostein about and around the project:

What is "hot wire my heart" about?

hot wire my heart isn't really about anything, but i wanted to a capture a somewhat dreamy, apathic feeling, title as in 're-start my heart'.

How did the idea for the project develop?

i wanted to do a longer project (this is only the first part, im also working on a super 8-movie and 12 more photos) with a kinda lynched, floral, dreamy feeling. it ended up a bit simpler, so hopefully i can 'dream it up' with part 2, hehehe. the bad weather in Norway didn't do me any good.

Wherein lies the charm of expired films in your opinion and why do you choose to use such?

i use expired film because half the time, it turns out great, especially with polaroid. half the time not so great, but i like that it's so unpredictable. it's also significantly cheaper.

Will there be an exhibition of your project? If yes, where and when?

at this time, i will not do an exhibition. i don't feel ready, only having photographed for a year and a half. i'd rather do a exhibtion or publish something when i'm truly happy with a project.

What is the major concept behind your artistic work?

my major concept is basically to create things i personally find beautiful. i like my photography to look like something i dreamt, i'm also quite influenced by juergen teller, stefanie schneider, edouard plongeon and nan goldin. and various flickr-photographers, of course.

Who is the female model on these pictures?

i've used several models in this project, but my friend Sunniva is in most of them. she's an aspiring stylist and clothing designer, and i like shooting her alot. i've also used Maja, which i live with and have known for pretty long, Julie, which is a girl in my class, and myself (i recently got a self timer for my polaroid sx-70)

Right now: your favourite thing to do when you're not taking pictures?

that's a hard one, as taking photos is my favourite thing, but maybe reading stefanie schneider's stranger than a paradise, with a glass of red wine and a cigg. i also like going out alot, watching a good movie and winning auctions at ebay.

Things seem to go wrong repeatedly on a day of shooting. The best way to overcome this?

i've experienced this a lot, several times while shooting these. it often occurs if i plan something too much, so i guess my tip would be to not plan anything too detailed, and just shoot on impulse. also, have plenty of time - i spent hours upon hours with Sunniva in my apartment, taking less than ten photos.

I had made a feature about Jostein's work some while ago already. He is planning to create a new website early in 2010, and I will let you know about it. Be sure to look at his new project and check out his blog in order to stay up-to-date!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Matthew Houston

Matthew Houston
Mesa, Arizona

milkwithtea is also very fond of traditional art, folks. So it was a pleasure to finally interview Matthew:

When did you start drawing? How did you start?

I started drawing when I was a kid. I don't really remember how I started, but I remember I went through a severe Dragon Ball Z phase. I hope to move past it eventually...

Some of your drawings really remind of historical paintings of battle fields orsituations in classics of literature. Do you have such in mind when you draw, or doesit develop into them while you're working?

In literature or history a certain spirit exists that draws one in and inspires. I try to reproduce that spirit in some of my drawings.

Forts, knights, counts. You seem to have a real fascination with the Middle Ages, true?

I do like the middle ages I think, though I don't know much about them. I just have this image of them formed by Steinbeck's "King Arthur and his Noble Knights" and various images of knights and armor I've seen over the years.

Religious and political symbols along with aliens pop up frequently as well. What about them?

I like symbols as well. I like their shapes more than their meanings. I don't know about aliens, though...

Is there any distinct criteria for making an art piece in colour or in black and white?

I think it's based on the kind of pen I use. If I use a ball point pen it will be in black and white, but if I use a Micron I purposely draw the image with my bucket-fill coloring technique in mind. No breaks in lines, minimalistic, etc.

What kind of art do you enjoy most personally?

I most enjoy romantic era painting, Velasquez, also some Neo-Raphaelite work.

Fecal face?

I like Fecal Face, I stumbled on the site a couple of years ago and I've found inspiration there.

You were writing about wanting to produce more "narrative" art some while ago. What did you havein mind exactly?

Well, I wanted something narrative but I didn't know exactly what I wanted. Comics? I got involved with a few narrative-based projects but ultimately went the opposite way, producing ever more single, simple, free-standing pictures with no function other than to be seen as pleasing shapes and no context in which to be understood.

Why do you dislike urban art/culture?

I dislike urban art and culture because I find it really boring. Maybe I just don't understand it, but it just seems so tacky and contrived. I just find it low.

Your favourite book/novel so far?

I think my favorite book at the moment is "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Hemmingway. I got way into it.

Your major source of inspiration right now?

My major source of inspiration right now is anything old, antiques, history, and some artists I know, especially Donald Dixon.

Maybe there are other huge fans of his art, but I dare them to battle me. Be sure to take a look at his work!