I'm finally catching up on things. Domenico has been most indulgent. He was kind enough to submit to this interview.
Your work has a unique look. What inspires it? How has it evolved?
There are many factors that contribute to the development of "Style" if we want to use this term (regrettably).
My work has changed progressively at the same pace with my growth as a person. It hasn't been a search for the right look, but it has been(and still is) a search for myself.
As I go ahead and I find bits and pieces of myself so my work changes as a natural consequence without any conscious effort.
Of course I have models I get inspiration from in the world of photography, but like all great mentors, they are useful because they show you that the most important element in Art is to have the courage to express yourself, which dosn't mean you have to be original at any cost.
How does traditional process factors in your work?
It is very important. I see my way to express myself through photography a continuous contact with a piece of paper where the image is printed.
It is the process to nurse the image to its best potential with the limitation of my skills, of course.
I immensely enjoy the last stages, especially the spotting of the print that I use creatively at times to add or suppress elements.
This is what I like about traditional black and white photography: an approach where you have to get your hands wet, the satisfaction of using your creativity and your body in sync for the creative act.
What draws you to photography in particular as a method of expression?
There is no other medium as Photography.
Photography is an exercise on faith. Photographers go out in the world hoping to get some memorable images, they rely on the fact that different elements, different external factors, will eventually come together to unfold a scene that will resonate in themselves.
When you have appropriated yourself of that little slice of Time and Space that just made your heart race, it is an high that beats any psychotropic substance.
That, and then it's a chick magnet.
How technical is your approach? Why or why not?
I have always had a love-hate relationship with the technical side of photography.
I have used seldom the zone system, for example, in my landscapes, because they don't go in the direction of the "American school", but I do find very important the zone system in portraiture.
This resistance to the technical side of photography, has pushed me to solve esthetic problems by exploring the medium in sometime un-ortodox ways, which I have learned to use in a controlled manner. This approach, I guess, has been also instrumental to a determined look of my work.
There are many times that I think all I do is to fool people and I don't know how, because I can tell you in all honesty that I am not a technically proficient photographer in the traditional sense of the term.
Do you see things and build work around them, or do you envision things and go looking for them?
As I said, it is a work of Faith, I rely on what's out there and that in due time things will be offered to me and hopefully I will be aware enough to see them.
At times happens that I see a pattern emerging in the pictures I take, then I start to inject some discipline in the process to create a project that follow the lines of the initial images.
How do you see your work as an artist evolving?
Strangely enough, I have gone back to the use of modern lenses, after a "blind" 13 years long love affair with the Petzval optics that everybody knows now.
Right now I am working on my "Unintentional" project, which dwelves on images found on walls.
I am very excited by this body of work since I can feel there is a lot to tell by means of simple walls. In this project I am intentioned to explore different ways to treat the silver print, from tonings, to tea staining and hand coloring.
Working on portraits is also a project that keeps me interested although at the moment is in the back burner.
Nudes. I have been having in mind to create a portfolio of 5x7 contact prints of figure studies, unfortunately every projects has its obstacles, this being to be able to afford a studio with the right natural light to shoot the models.
The difficulty in obtaining a grant to complete my "Lingering Past" portfolio is at times discouraging. Foundations want to see their funds to go to projects having social relevance and it is my impression that projects like mine don't strike that nerve, unjustly so.
I have resolved to create a donation page in my website where people can contribute to help me finish this project.
Domenico's APUG portfolio is here: