Posts Tagged ‘photography’

BOOKlet Meets: Marina Sturino

In art|BOOK on January 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm


Flamenco (2008, Marina Sturino)

Capturing dance in its most beautiful form, Marina Sturino (b.1967) is a performing-arts-loving amateur photographer.

With a history of working on productions including FadoMeu (2005), Sturino’s passion for framing moments of a performance is only getting bigger.

When BOOKlet met Marina Sturino, we learned about her work with innovative choreographer Wiebe Moeys, her love for Imogen Cunningham and the dream she never fulfilled.

When did you begin your career as a photographer?

Mid-December, 2005.  Wiebe Moeys was working on his production, FadoMeu, for the Teatro delle Erbe in Milan. I took my first photos during rehearsals using his digital camera.

What inspires you about photography?

Dance in action. Musicians during concerts.  Babies at their first stage performance.  Some of my best photos aren’t published on the internet, as their subjects are babies and I want to respect their privacy.

Why is dance the central theme of your artwork?

I have been an amateur dancer since I was 17 and I have no intention to quit. I never had the possibility to study as a dancer, so working with professional dancers with my camera helps me to overcome my unfulfilled dream.

Tell  me more about Give More Hugs (2006).

One morning, Wiebe Moeys and I (plus dancers) met in a small theatre to work on the promotion of his dance company (Wiebe Moeys Dance Project).  Give More Hugs is the photograph that I took while he attempted to make human sculptures with five dancers.

What do you want people to feel when they see your photographs?

My love for dance and the performing arts.

What makes a good artist?

The ability to create artwork that calls forth emotion in the beholder.

Who is your favourite photographer?

Robert Mapplethorpe or Imogen Cunningham. In particular, I love Cunningham’s photos of the choreographer, Martha Graham.

How has Italian culture influenced your photography?

My Italian culture doesn’t influence my work. I’ve worked with Dutch choreographers who have danced throughout Europe and the USA. My favourite photographers, dancers and choreographers aren’t even Italian.

Describe your personality in five words.

Emotional, stubborn, honest, genuine, crazy.

Describe your photography in one word.


BOOKlet Meets: Barbara Nati

In art|BOOK on December 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Italian visual artist Barbara Nati uses an extensive range of photographs, transforming them into symbols of social and environmental issues.

Nati has studied everywhere from Perugia to New York, taking inspiration from photo-realist painter Anthony Brunelli and using her advertising background as a driving influence for her work.

Following Mists of Avalon and Long Time No Sea, Nati’s upcoming exhibition, One Man Show, starts January 24 in Mezzanotte di Pergola.

When BOOKlet met Barbara Nati, we discovered her influences, experiences and her focus.

What inspired you to become an artist?
I have been drawing since I was five. I remember being the first kid in my class who understood that the side view of a dog has just two legs because the other two are hidden. When I was a teenager, I used to go dancing and afterwards I would visit monuments and churches to draw them. Then I got my first analogic camera and suddenly fell in love.

What makes your work unique?
I’m not that sure it is – that’s why I’m thinking of moving my art towards a third dimension. My pictures will be produced on layers at different depths. I will be collaborating with a very wise and skilled American artist.

What issues do your works focus on?
I don’t have a narrow focus, but I have realised that most of my recent series revolves around my concern about the environment we are living in.

From early 2009, I have been focusing on Long Time No Sea – a study on a possible world without the sea. This series was inspired by the earthquake that hit central Italy last April. I wanted the audience to witness an infinity of uniform and hyper-detailed mutations that quake their boredom.

My next subject will be the snow, which will take on a more silent approach. It will show the darker side of a soft blanket.

What do you want your photographs to tell people?
My artwork is more of a manipulation. I want my settings to invite the viewer to look again at the things he takes for granted and to pulverize the naïve trust in what we consider to be real.

What is your favourite creation?
I tend to support losers.  As a matter of fact, I started to support my football team when it was in dire straits. I’ve always been a fan of Donald Duck as well. I apply the same sympathy to those works I created that never met the appreciation other works did.

Who is your favourite artist?
Claes Oldenburg is my favourite sculptor. I travel to ugly towns in Europe just to see his works. Wayne Thiebaud is my favourite painter, as I have an insane attraction towards artists who paint food. Erwin Olaf is my favourite photographer.

What makes a good artist?
His power of shaping a thick message into a fresh and never-seen-before kind of expression.

What do you think of UK art?
I think Great Britain has got the perfect foundation for an artist to pursue his career. People like to invest in contemporary art.  Not to mention Charles Saatchi who is the kind of person every country would like to have. However, it can have a lack of audacity that leads many British galleries to act ‘safe’.

How has your advertising background influenced your works?

I don’t see a big gap between art and creative advertising.  The more a work is creative, the more it is commercial. Advertising campaigns must be communicative and innovative to reach their goal. The same goes for art.

What did you learn From Anthony Brunelli?

I learned not to rush in order to have the best result with art production.

Tell me more about your work that will be in your new show in January.

It will take place in an unusual space – a hut among a rural area in Italy. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of an uncommon show curated by the young and smart Daniele DeAngelis. There will be a dozen works, mostly from my last series of castles built with industrial elements. It’s a focus on the present age, which has been depicted as an upsetting transition period, that hasn’t succeeded in synthesizing the symbol of its civilization yet.  My only concern will be the chance of snow that might force us to postpone the private view. That’s the dark side of independent new realities!

To See Works by Barbara Nati:

BOOKlet Meets: Meera Huraiz

In art|BOOK on December 21, 2009 at 10:29 am

Dubai-based Meera Huraiz has shown her works throughout her homeland and inVenice, Italy.  She is currently studying a BA at the College of Arts and Sciences, Zayed University.

In Huraiz’s BOOKlet interview, we learn about her desire to be an artist, the meaning of her sculptures and where she sees art in the future.

1.     What made you want to become an artist?

Becoming an artist was completely accidental. I did not plan to become one, but turned into one. Art is an urge, not a forced skill or a profession. It is a hunger for creative expression and my need to speak aloud. I have an unexplainable connection with my work.  It is somehow instinctual.

2.     Describe your art in 5 words

An eclectic formation of unspoken thoughts.

3.     Who is your favourite artist in Dubai?

The Iranian Ramin Haerizadeh.  I love his techniques and his subject matter. He is very genuine and daring – something that’s hard to find nowadays.

4.     Who is your favourite UK artist?

The Chapman brothers are my favorite British artists.  Their work tackles issues of human nature, which are very much of my interest.

5.     What are the ideas behind Metamorphis 1 and Metamorphis 2?

The series Metamorphosis depicts a biological transformation and mutation of the human body as a result of exterior factors. Therefore, sculpting it into a very odd and deformed object, it looks like a body that hasn’t completely grown into its full form.  Ironically, it also represents that of an infant in it’s mother’s womb.

6.     Why does photography interest you?

Because it can capture reality in a surreal manner.

7.     What does message did you want Weed to portray?

As artists we are inclined to become soaked into our worlds and there is a a strong desire to observe the things around us. This painting projects the beautiful and the ugly, and the notions of my contradicting surroundings.

8.     Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?

I do have exhibitions but I cannot announce for the time being.

9.     What do you think makes a good artist?

The desire to become one.

10.  What do you think art will be like in 10 years time?

It will transform and adapt to another time frame with different subjects.  Perhaps, it will reach another level of innovation. We will see new art movements new art schools and why not new techniques and mediums.

BOOKlet Meets: Anna Prajs

In art|BOOK on December 14, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Maaja (Anna Prajs)

Originally from Poland, Anna Prajs focuses on the human form, fashion and vitality, taking inspiration from all walks of life.  She believes that the way you photograph people is a kind of psychology, where you can bear people’s souls.  In this interview, we learn about her childhood dream, her role models and how she takes inspiration from the streets on a daily basis.

What made you want to be a photographer?

I have taken photos since I was a kid.  When I was 11 years old, I got my first camera and that’s when my adventure began. At the beginning, it was just good fun, but years after it became my passion, love and the way of my life.  I love people and I love to work with them.  I love to watch situations and freeze the moment in my photos.  I was always meant to be a photographer; it was in me somewhere all the time.

Who is your favourite artist?

My favourite artist? I have many.  Helmut Newton, Zdzislaw Beksinski, H.R Giger and I really adore Mario Testino’s work.  It’s amazing.

What do want your photographs to tell people?

The truth.

Do you prefer Black and White or Colour?

It depends on what you want to say through your work. Colour has different vibrations to black and white.  However, black and white has a sharper character.

What do you think of UK art?
It’s very open-minded!

Who do you think should have won the Turner Prize?

That question is quite hard – it isn’t for me to judge.  Everybody works hard, and the best will always win.

What are the main concepts of your photography?

I love to photograph people. I love to capture their nature and their personality. Although I highligh beauty and ugliness, I like to show things as they are.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere around me. I stay very open minded whereever I am.  Sometimes I find myself stuck to my laptop for a few hours a day watching pictures and videos.  When I am walking down the street, I watch people a lot, especially their gestures.  That is what helps me when I am shooting models to get a good pose.

Who is your role model?

Helmut Newton and Mario Testino definitely.

Where do you see art in the next 10 years?

Well, everything is happening so quickly now.  Art is everywhere around us, on the streets, in the shops, even on the tube.  Art has soaked through to many fields in our lives on a daily basis.  There are so many artists these days and they are doing such a good job.  I have no idea where such an unpredictable thing like art could take us.

To see more photographs by Anna Prajs, go to