Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Samantha Cardow

Samantha Cardow
Ottawa Canada

Is there something/someone you tried photographing so often you almost might make an album of these pictures?

I seem to always photograph the same people because they’re my friends or family. My friend Denise and my boyfriend Seb appear the most in my photos though. I probably could do a whole set of either one of them since they both photograph nicely.

In your pictures you play a lot with light. What's your interest herein?

Light is just something that appeals to me in general whether it’s in pictures or the lamps in my apartment. I guess I’m just drawn to the patterns it makes and it’s really easy to manipulate. Natural elements like light, wind, and water make photos more interesting and light especially makes them more surreal and soft. At around 6 o’clock when the sun starts to set it’s magic hour in my apartment because the sun starts to shine through my stained glass windows. It’s a good time to read or listen to music.

If you have watched it: how did you like the idea of Nino collecting all those picture pieces and putting them together in an album in "Amelié"?

I loved it! It’s really interesting to have personal photos of people you don’t exactly know. I can understand why he wanted it back so badly because you spend all that time forming a collection and you start to develop emotional attachments to it. I have old photos of people and families that I have never met that I have collected from flea markets and etsy. I don’t understand how people can just get rid of things like that since it’s a part of your history.

Do you remember your thoughts while taking a picture when you look at it even after years?

I don’t really have any thoughts about it while I’m actually taking a picture besides something like “Hopefully my film turns out”. I mostly feel things like excitement and usually the ones I feel excited about while I’m actually taking it turn out the best. It’s probably because the photos of mine I like the most are more spur of the moment than thought out.

Would you say that photography is so precious to so many people because of its memory potential or rather because of the artistic value it attaches to everyday life?

It really depends who you talk to. People who consider themselves a photographer probably feel deeply for it because it’s a creative outlet but there are also mothers who have their cameras so they can remember every moment of their family’s life. For me, I love it because it’s a way to document my life in a stylized way. So I get the best of both worlds.

I've heard friends say this a lot, so I will just ask you: do you ever feel "naked" without your camera?

I don't necessarily feel naked without my camera. I'm not one of those people who bring it everywhere all the time. I do however feel regret when I don't have it and I'm out with friends and the light is just right or there's something I want to document. I probably should bring my camera more places with me.

If you could choose one art piece for your own home, which one would it probably be?

If I could choose one piece right now I would really love to get my hands on one of these Andy Warhol polaroids that are going up for auction. I think I would want one of his self-portraits. They’re really interesting and very personal.

Do you like traditional art with pictures, e.g. drawing and painting on or making collages with them, or do you prefer to see them in their "natural way" as the pictures they were made from the beginning?

I make collages in frames with my photos but that’s pretty much it. I usually just like how they look on their own.

Is there one dish/meal you'd love to be able to prepare yourself but haven't succeeded yet?

Yes, eggplant is my biggest downfall. I can never cook it properly. It's either rubbery and bitter or burnt and shriveled up. Either way, it's never pretty and I’m too insecure to cook with it. It’s such a shame because I love eggplant in everything. Also making good curry dishes is really hard for me.

Is chivalry dead?

Well, the pessimist in me wants to say yes but fortunately I’ve lucked out. I hope everyone can find a little chivalry in his or her life at some point because a little bit is left out there.

What was your cheesiest date so far? Did you enjoy it?

I haven’t really gone on many dates. Is that bad? Usually anyone who I have dated, it just sort of happens. There is no original date that sets off the relationship. I will already have an established relationship with someone before I actually go out with him to dinner or a movie. I guess the cheesiest though would have been when I was younger before anyone would have their driver’s license and our parents would have to drop us off and then pick us up. At the time I guess would have enjoyed them.

What's easier to memorize: numbers or names?

Names! I can't ever remember numbers. I think it’s more polite to remember names anyway.

A name you would never give your children?

Well I like simple names like Margaret or Eli. I don’t think I would ever have a child with 5 middle names or a name that’s more along the lines of an object.

Lights! Be sure to check out her work.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Talena Sanders

In your work: are you interested in showing reality as it is or rather in producing a certain interpretation of it?

I think all photographs are only an interpretation – the frame is the limit and we choose what is in the frame, the viewer has to rely on our choices to interpret what is the reality of an image. That said, I definitely make choices in which camera I take out with me, what types of film, and what type of interaction I have with portrait subjects.

Which camera(s)/film do you use currently?

Lately it’s a Pentax Espio 80 and mostly Kodak Max 400. I shot all of my last overseas trip on a Fuji Discovery 75, though.

How much do you value art critics' opinions or reviews?

Now that I live outside of New York, I value the information on gallery shows that I can receive from reading art reviews. I should be reading more. I read reviews by Jerry Saltz, the critic for New York Magazine, most frequently. I like his style and I appreciate that he often writes on the underrepresentation of female artists’ works in museums and galleries.

Often in movies based heavily on interpersonal relationships photographs of family/friends/lovers tend to be "romantisized". Does this ever annoy you?

Not really. A photo of a lover is inherently romantic no matter how mundane. That’s a certain type of record that I like to make. I definitely have a romanticized view of photos of my friends and family that I fight to decide whether a shot has the right quality.

Does it ever happen that the video to a song changes your perception of it fundamentally?

Totally – if the video is great, I listen to the song much more than I would if the video was only blah. But if a video is terrible I’ll still listen to the song.

Artists you have been watching closely recently?

Right now I’m most fascinated with the artists coming through where I work. I work at an amazing artist residency program and museum in North Carolina called Elsewhere Collaborative. It’s museum situated within a former thrift store and the artists coming through making projects from the former thrift store merchandise are really incredible. It’s a fantastic to be surrounded by constant creativity. I’ve also been looking into Leon Levinstein’s work, Juliana Beasley’s lapdancer photos, and I loved work from artists in the Greater New York show at the PS 1.

Would you say that increasing connectiveness on a global scale brings about a lot of newly created and different cultures or does it rather homogenize?

I love the access to information, the history of images, and the platforms for sharing our work that we have so readily available now. I think the ability and the impetus to quickly communicate and easily share art work from emerging artists is contributing to visual culture.

You're also a videomaker. What are you interested in specifically?

I’ve been focused mainly on photography for the last year but with lots of support from my friend Bill Santen I’ve been transitioning from HD video to 8mm and eventually 16mm film. This transition has been sped up by the recent demise of my HD camera. I’m not sure what will come of my video work in the near future because the preciousness and cost of film is drastically changing my shooting style. You can check out my previous video work at

Old movies: black and white or technicolour?

I appreciate both but I like looking at life in Technicolor more.

Young Fresh and New. Be sure to check out her gallery.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Elisabeth Sarah

Elizabeth Sarah
Bronxville, USA

Do you sometimes feel urged to take a picture because you feel that you're witnessing a moment that needs to be captured?

All the time! And it tears me up inside when I miss out on an opportunity, as if a piece of me that was rightfully mine has been stolen! crazy as it may sound.

Your latest polaroid project is of major importance to you. Can you describe your thoughts behind this one?

I have many projects going at once and am constantly inventing new ideas, but "maps" is sort of my baby. I have a very long growing list of locations and scenes to photograph, and everyday I itch to make them into reality. Where will each photograph will take the story next and how will it connect to the past and future shots? The story will never be presented in any correct order. The order in which the adventure takes place is completely up to each and every individual. That is the mystery behind it. Why is she in a map? Where did she come from and where is she going? Who is she? How did she get to these places? It is all up to you to decide and I like leaving a lot of questions up to you! It is meant to be an interactive story between you, the photographs, and others that have their own opinions and conclusions.

What is it about the "brown paper packages tied up with strings"?

The simple things in life are what I cherish most. Those small moments that most people do not stop to appreciate and breathe in keeps my heart keep beating and my brain ticking.

In your imagination, where would the happy-end-kissing in a love movie be set?

Can I give a few options? A rainy, misty forest. A hot airballoon above green fields and mountains. A rowboat in a body of water far away from other people, but not animals. In bed, at home, that was built and created together over many years filled with great memories from a long life.

You write that you feel you should have been born in a different time? Which time comes to your mind most often in this context and why?

The early 50s! I would still be surrounded with things from the twenties, thirties and forties in my environment, but I would get to live and breathe the fifties, sixties and seventies!! The music, culture, movements, lifestyle, art and design are all so intriguing to me. I feel like i live in the future, and while technology today does excite me, the technologies that are phasing out tend to make my blood rush a whole lot more. My appreciation for the past is not something I can really explain, it is just a feeling that I have. I would prefer to have been young before and old today, even though I do feel like I am getting old everyday.

Please explain what you mean by "vintage and modern photography of the way things are".

Vintage and modern are in reference to the mediums I use. My passion lies with vintage cameras and films, however, I would not be the photographer I am today without my digital camera. All mediums that I use have their appropriate time and I am very careful to always chose what I feel works best each shoot. With few exceptions, I take photographs of the way things are. I like to utilize what I am surrounded with in terms of nature, people, objects and, most importantly, light. Staging is something I try to do very little of, even when working with a person; I like to let them pose however is natural with as little direction as possible in order to keep everything the way things are.

Of the different travels you have made, which one do you think has changed your view on life the most?

For very personal reasons, my life took a major turn when I went on a 20 day voyage through the Caribbean in the summer of 2006. I visited many different lands on an 88 foot schooner (a very large sailboat) and truly found who I am. Although, the worst happened on that adventure---my camera decided to stop working just halfway through the adventure!

Correct me if I'm wrong: It appears to me that you have, even if widely set, a particular and defining frame for your work as a photographer. Do you think that this is necessary to have a coherent body of artwork?

I feel that my photography is so vast, but I always keep a sense of innocence, nostalgia and realism which I hope ties all of my work together. It is hard to say whether being coherent is or is not necessary to be successful. It works for some and for others, the work can sort of run dry. I love to experiment and try new mediums and ideas. It is so important for all artists to experiment. All iconic artists went through different periods, and it is those periods of experimentation that identify them for the artist they are. Those periods also led them to their most current style which defines who they are as an artist. I would like to be remembered and known for my variety of work, while maintaining a solid and underlying set of themes.

What would your first major counter-argument be to the assertion that dealing with art would not be "really necessary" but a pastime for people having the time and means to do so?

I don't have the time and patience for people who think this way. Art is culture, everything is art, and every life has a culture. So, how a person can believe that art is meaningless, I will never understand. Not everyone can understand all art, but if you try and can respect that there is a meaning whether you understand what it is or not, that is key.

How significant would you say are interpersonal relationships to the education of one's self?

That is something I think about very often! I believe that we would not be who we are without having spoken to each and every person you have ever met, even the ones who you think may be a nobody. There is so much to be learned from everyone who surrounds you, and only you can teach yourself that!

What is the perfect teatime/afternoon snack to you?

Earl grey tea, fresh berries, a cranberry muffin, and a pumpernickel sandwich with lox and cream cheese! Is that too much to ask for??

Watercolours or crayons?

Both! I think it is fun to intermix. It is usually a much more exciting result!


...killed the cat. I would not be surprised if it's what took me in the end too. I am always curious and not always doing what is conventional, ideal or best for me. I like to be spontaneous and do what seems right at the time with a little consideration to how it will affect my future.

Fabulous. Be sure to take a look at her work!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Alessandra Gerevini

Alessandra Gerevini
website blog

What were your thoughts behind the project ".Coralli"?

I've thought to play with the red bag which was used to packing christmas' gifts. To join a naked body to a very old wall paper, decorating it with ancient pictures of my grandparents.
Then I became interested in the use of red. Red the bag, red stripes of the pillow, my red nails. "Coralli" means corals. Little red spots adorning ocean bottoms.

The polaroid series was one of my favourites on your website. When and where were these taken?

My polaroids were taken in the last 2 years, above all. First ones are the last taken, mainly in Cremona with a sx-70. Selfportraits were taken with my 636 close-up polaroid camera. Older ones with a 600 landscape camera. Square ones were taken in Turkey in 2008.

Why do you think does it sometimes happen that it doesn't work if one tries very hard to take a picture one has already imagined in one's mind?

Life is different from imagination. I prefer to represent what I see, reality and ordinary life are my inspiration. I don't want to recreate an idea, but to express a feeling by using what is surrounding me.

Would you say that spontaneity always plays a part in photography?


What would you say is the difficulty in making a movie adaptation of a novel?

A Novel gives room to imagination. Making a movie adaption means chosing one of the possible interpretations.

Travelling is part of education. Do you agree?

I agree absolutely. Travelling is the best way to get to know this world and who's living in it.

What do you enjoy more: picnics or barbecues?

Bbqs are taken with friends. Picnics with the one(s) we love.

Is there a place you plan to live when you're old?

In a little, colourful house in the north of Europe, maybe Norway or Finland, Canada is also ok, even if it's not in Europe.

Do you have a muse for your photographic work?

My muse is my life.

Do you have a favourite author?

Not one. Marquèz, Hemingway, Salinger, Ballard, Quasimodo, Vargas, ...

What was the best part of school for you?

The funny part. Bad exams and difficult moments that now make me smile...

Inspirational. Take a look at her website and blog!