Saturday Spotlight: Volume 28

15 min read

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arctoa's avatar
An Interview with-



vbagiatis' Gallery

> Please introduce yourself, in your own words. What are your interests?
I was born on January 30th, 1978 and I currently live and work as an IT analyst in Athens, Greece. Most of my free time is dedicated to photography, either by watching the work of famous or less established photographers, or by trying to embody my influences in the pictures that I create myself.

> Where did you begin with artistic endeavours? How did you come across Abstraction or Surrealism?
During the first 30 years of my life many activities claimed my free time: photography wasn't one of them. During the summer of 2008 I acquired my first decent camera (a Canon G7) and I started experimenting with all its advanced settings and manual controls. I soon realised that a camera is the perfect medium for me to express my feelings, while staying creative at the same time. As soon as I believed that I had learned the basic rules of photography I started breaking them. I also realised that mood was an essential part of my photography and that brought me to fine-art surrealism, which is a form that can usually raise strong emotions.

> How would you explain the concept of Abstraction or Surrealism to someone with no experience with the genre?
I believe that both abstraction and surrealism have one thing in common; they allow the viewers to use their imagination in order to interpret an image. And that, inevitably, leads to multiple and different interpretations. More than that, for me, surrealism is highly connected to the oneiric world, as opposed to the real world.

> What inspires you to use Abstraction or Surrealism in your work?
Whatever lies around me is a potential source of inspiration. Sometimes it's pure beauty that naturally attracts my eye. Other times it's the ordinary; all those things that we pass by every day without paying attention to. And many times it's the light itself; the way it reflects on a surface or the way it fades something into the shadows. I tend to visit all kinds of places during my photographic explorations: from the very centre of my city to an abandoned factory, a quiet lake, or an old forest. Also, different places provide different kinds of inspiration and it usually takes ten or twenty minutes before any equipment is taken out of my camera bag. During that time I just walk around, seeing, hearing, smelling, trying to figure out what makes the place unique, sensing the emotions it creates and taking mental snapshots of all the interesting spots.

> What do you want to express with your artwork? What is the idea you're trying to put across?
Most photographers try to imprint a scene as they see it through the viewfinder. I, on the other hand, prefer to produce fuzzy versions of reality, making a scene look not as something I see but rather as something I remember, like a memory or a dream. I wouldn't say there is a clear message or a solid idea behind my artworks. Let's just say that I'm trying to explore how the images that we create with our mind could be depicted through a series of pixels on a screen or marks on paper.

> What are your 'tools of the trade'? How do you create your art?
I use a Canon EOS 50D, usually with the Lensbaby composer or with the f/1.8 50mm lens, which are both great (and fairly cheap) tools to create selective focus (a technique I use fairly often). During post-processing, I usually make most of the common adjustments on Lightroom and use Photoshop for any heavy editing, such as texture application and/or use of filters.

> Do you think the quality of a piece depends more upon technical perfection, or the message contained therein?
Does the real value of a gift depend on its wrapping? No it doesn't, for me at least. That's not to say that I underestimate technical perfection. I just believe that technical perfection can come though study, practice and experience, whereas the vision: that is something that lies at the core of our existence and we need to dig inside us in order to distill it.

> Who are your favourite visual artists, and why?
There are many photographers of different styles that have influenced me over time, in one way or another. However, I'd like to refer in particular to Susan Burnstine, a fine-art photographer who has been my biggest influence until today. Burnstine is a master at oneiric visions, which she creates entirely on camera, utilising a number of cameras and lenses she has made herself.

> Which dA Groups would you recommend to someone looking to get involved with abstract and surreal art?

:iconabstract-and-surreal: :iconwhoneedscolour: :iconcreativetextures:

> What advice would you give to an absolute beginner in the genre?
See with your soul and let others see your soul through your images. It takes courage to do so, but it can be cathartic as well as expressive.

> Any final words on abstract and surreal art?
When you observe an abstract or surreal artwork, don't look at the title or the caption. Not at first, at least. Look at the picture; study it, and try to make your own interpretations.

> In conclusion, pick nine works from your Favourites that you particularly enjoy.

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davespertine's avatar
Another very interesting read!