A Quick Q&A With Phootgrapher Matteo Malavasi
I want the viewer to feel free in front of my pictures, enjoying images for what they are.
-Do you agree that you are challenged everyday to create something that has never been created before?
The inner desire of artists is to create something that has never been created before. But the reality is that modern age does now allow to create something new easily. Therefore the real challenge is, in my opinion, to understand in depth what working with aesthetics issues means. Then, working hard with available languages is the real challenge in order to be able to create a personal style. If time will define our work like something which has never been created before, that will mean that our effort has reached the goal.
-Can you describe your creative process? What do you look for when creating a shoot and do your shoot line up to be what you expected?
When approaching an artistic project, my inspiration comes from the interaction of many different perspectives. An artistic concept can starts from an intellectual research that I am interested in developing, from a simple suggestion or from a personal imaginary.
Of course, when the concept is clear inside my mind, I have to think how to properly reproduce it into the real world. This means to make it perceptible in the final product. If the idea is clear to myself, then the result will be very close to what I expected. The key is the accuracy applied in all details of the project.
-You have to have a favorite artist in mind that drives your creativity or inspires you, who is it?
I am fascinated by art in general, from ancient ages to modern productions. I always try to grasp ‘secrets’ from everything which looks interesting, both in the real life and in art. I could mention some well known names from very different areas: from Andrey Tarkovskij to Maurice Ravel, from Vasilij Kandinskij to Marcel Proust and so on. I always look for good examples in order to be able to refine my thoughts.
-How would you describe yourself as a person & artist?
Curious, responsive, indefatigable and immovable (…and here I laugh!)
-How did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
It was a long process. I grow up in the artistic environment as contemporary classical composer. I worked also with electronic music, I explored interactive performances using different media and also exploring video technology. Then I felt the necessity of moving somewhere else, having further experiences. Therefore, I decided to write a movie, thus, I wrote, directed and produced independently my first feature film. From there, the interest in photography has become predominant and the new career began.
-Do you have a favorite photographers who inspire you? Why is that?
I enjoy looking at the work of classic photographers like Cartier Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Man Ray and others. About modern photography, I like Peter Lindbergh’s pictures, I enjoy that sort of natural and deep looking, but always refined. I also like Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchelier and Steven Meisel’s photography. I like their genuine elegance even when their photography is provocative. I also enjoy Tim Walker’s photography for his genuine and bizarre creativity.
-Can you describe one of your favorite projects that you have worked on and why was it your favorite?
I think my favorite project is going to come, but I always say that any time I finish a project!!
Well, a project that I have enjoyed is called ‘Réciprocité'. A very simple concept, an abstract interpretation of the ‘antagonistic and attractive reciprocity’. I enjoyed the simplicity of this concept. Then I enjoyed the production, I drew carefully all frames I was going to shoot, I worked closely with the stylist who made dresses for this project and then it was nice building by myself all props and studio settings, even if they were not so complex. Finally, the simplicity and clarity of the final images were the real pleasure.
-We have taken a look at your website/portfolio Online, how do you want the viewer to feel when looking at your work?
I want the viewer to feel free in front of my pictures, enjoying images for what they are.
-Do you ever collaborate with designer brands.
Well, I do not collaborate with international brands yet. But I often collaborate with local designer brands. Sometimes for their needs and sometimes asking them new design for my projects.
-In the artistic world of photographers, do you see yourself not only trying to achieve your perfect shoot but also being known for your work?
In some way these two aspects appear to be parallel. It is useful that a good work becomes also known. Not only because it can be a pleasure, but mainly, having recognitions represents a stimulus in order to continuously develop my own production.
-If you could shoot an editorial anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why is that?
Interesting question! I have never thought about it! I will think an appropriate answer when I start being involved in big productions …where everything is possible!
Anyway, I actually think that any place can be the right place where taken a good picture. All depends on what you have in mind and what the projects consists of. Sometimes limits are the key to achieve the best result.
-What was the main reason that you decided to become a photographer?
Fascinated by the meaning and the deepness that a single frame can reach, I decided to change my life and start a new career focusing on still images.
-Tell me about your latest shoot. What was your vision when you created it?
The latest shoot is an editorial work called ‘Idée Ornementale’ (Ornamental Idea). That project began from a very simple concept: using the model as part of the environment, not just posing, but interacting like she was an ornamental part of it. I drew quite a few sketches of situations which could better represent that idea. A dress designer created wonderful and colorful dresses for this project matching the location’s style. Then, I interacted with the model trying to involve also her in the role, and she has enjoyed that with great sense of humor. At the end, the result was softer related to my original drawings, but the experience was excellent and I really enjoyed the fresh and genuine impact that I had in front of the final pictures …and definitely, we had a great time during the shoot!
-To be a photographer, you had to undergo a lot of struggles. What was the most difficult obstacle for you when putting together a shoot?
To be honest, I have never had such difficult obstacles. Of course, difficulties are always on the way for many reasons, and sometimes I have to drive projects differently from what they were at the beginning. Surely, I have been always organized and flexible in order to be able to solve possible unexpected events. At the beginning of my career I found myself taking risks, organizing projects more complex than what I expected, but that was simply exciting and, in some way, it is part of the job.
-Does your personal life ever effect how you compose your shoots or do you have a set schedule/formula that you follow? What is it exactly?
Artistic work is part of my life and my life is part of my artistic research. It can not be otherwise for me. The final result is not just the right control of technics. Of course, there are practical formula that are applied on set, but that is just the technics that you have to be aware of.
The artistic result is the mix between personal sensitivity and culture, personal research and the whole experience that a person achieves in his/her life.
-Who excites you the most (Celebrity) & why?
I am not excited by a particular person, I am interested in skilled people who are able to say interesting things (also in a figurative way), regardless the area of interest.
-If you had to pass on a suggestion for someone starting out in photography, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to work hard, to listen to people who have experience, to not only be interested in photography, but to be interested in anything which is really interesting in life, trying to grasp all details which make those things really interesting. Then, I would tell them to be organized, developing a strong method of work in order to be effective, and then, to be full of initiative. Finally, I would tell them again to work hard, to be aware of their personal focuses and time will give them back something if their work has a value.
-How is your style of photography different from others different from any other photographers?
I always try to be personal, recently my style has been evolving and I am moving towards a natural and refined style. But this is not particularly different from others. Then, there is something deeper in defining a style, and this is something which is difficult to explain: first, it is the personal background which interacts with the artistic production making things really different, then I feel to have a natural and personal aptitude in looking and framing subjects. The interaction of all these aspects makes my pictures personal and different from others.
-What are your world-dominating goal.
To be creative!