“Feeling is a very important aspect because my subject is sacred sites. There is a very strong spiritual feeling regardless of what the religion was. The important thing is the spirituality of these monuments. It’s not just a photograph of a building. The building has to be there to photograph but the atmosphere is what I’m really interested in. The building is a representation of that spiritual side. Without architecture there is nothing I can photograph. But what I’m photographing is atmosphere, air actually surrounding that monument.”
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
Isn’t it amazing how photography has advanced without improving.
“I sincerely believe it is normal and healthy to study the work of other artists, and even imitate other’s efforts, as a means to explore one’s personal vision. It has been thus throughout history in all mediums of creative expression. One advances by “standing on the shoulders of giants”. The perspective becomes a lot clearer from such high ground. On my own journey, I have actively tried to see through the eyes of many well known photographers, including but not limited to Atget, Bernhard, Brandt, Callahan, Cartier Bresson, Giacomelli, Misrach, Scheeler, Steiglitz, Sudek, Sugimoto, Weston (Brett) and many others. I have gone to places where they have photographed and have consciously and unconsciously emulated their style and subject matter. Other artists, in many mediums, have greatly helped my own development as a photographer. As small tokens of appreciation, I have often credited those influences openly by including their names in the titles of work. I have done this out of basic courtesy and respect. I do not feel that I have ever stolen from these artists.”
Juan: They’re a lot of different things. In creating them, they’re a way of making something that doesn’t have to hold the same weight as a fully-fledged photobook—they can be a way of exploring more experimental ideas quickly or act as sketches or drafts of something bigger.
It’s also a way of having a built in community—there are many small zine fairs across the country and it’s so easy now to meet people who share the same passion for creating them. There’s a pride that comes with having made something by hand and that’s a shared sentiment among those who make them.
Carlos: We use the term zine in a very contemporary manner that respects its roots but also attempts to explore its current state. A lot of the energy that went into producing the “fanzines” of the late 20th century is now residing in the blogosphere, where fans can indulge in just about any obsession instantaneously. People that are making zines today are as obsessed with zinemaking itself. The process relies on its independent, artist-made nature. Zines tend to connect the artist more directly with its intended audience, as opposed to a trade publication or a bespoke edition where the imprint of the publisher or gallery or other institution bodes heavily in that connection.
“Photography isn’t just the “premier coup,” it’s the only coup. That’s the very essence of photographic portraiture. Whatever happens in front of the lens stays. What’s captured during the encounter is all that exists. A photograph has to bring all of his or her resources to bear on the moment of exposure. All the planning, intuition, technical prowess, and knowledge, as well as the trust and rapport you have (or haven’t) established, will show up in the picture, frozen forever. It’s like an interview, except that’s no opportunity for a follow-up question. It triggers a classic left/right brain struggle: spontaneous yet calculated, emotional and rational. It’s exciting but terrifying, thrilling when it works and heartbreaking when it doesn’t.”