Today we’re joined by Tatiana. Tatiana is a phenomenally talented photographer from Uruguay. She is currently working on her thesis to graduate from the Visual Arts University. Tatiana has taken part in exhibitions and experimented in various types of photography. Her work is remarkably beautiful, showing an amazing vividness and capturing the beauty and uniqueness of life. She’s a remarkably talented artist with an incredibly bright future, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a photographer, simple as that. I love going out on a cloudy day to capture pictures but I also love experimenting, I’ve tried pinhole photography, black and while film photography, color film photography, lab processing in the traditional and in the experimental way, digital photography (of course) and now I’m developing an interest in conservation and in color management. Many times people ask me why don’t I try to do graphic design or filmmaking but I think photography is broad and interesting enough for me.
What inspires you?
I think mostly light and nature. Photography IS light, is amazing how you can start to understand the light and to not take it for granted, light is an extremely cheeky thing but when you got to work well with it you can create amazing things.
To explain how nature influences my work in a few words is difficult; I grew up surrounded by nature, rocky beaches and a beautiful botanical park around the corner.
I think modern society is so humanist and so stressed by the pressure of productivity that we forget that we ARE nature and that we should give time to ourselves to just enjoy the silence and realize that we are the same as a flower or a snail.
I also found so much inspiration in the concepts of “mono no aware”, “wabi sabi” and in the work of Claude Monet, Duane Michals, Banana Yoshimoto & Piet Mondrian but I don’t want to write a Bible so please look it up if you are interested.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Until I was 14 I wanted to be a marine biologist, I grew up watching Discovery documentaries and as I mentioned, I visited every year a beautiful beach where I would pick different types of algae to “investigate it” hahaha. One day I started to hear that I wouldn’t go too far studying biology and that I would end up enclosed in a lab 24/7. After that I wanted to study publicity as my sister but I started a free photography workshop and I got completely hooked, I left the class the first day and I though “I want to do this for the rest of my life”.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Mmm, I tend to jump from one style to the other, having grainy black and white pictures one day to have something minimalistic and pastel the other but I think that something that’s always present is geometry, I love working with lines and seeing how the weight of the composition changes as I change the angle or distance to my object. Heavy diagonal lines and semi circles are frequently present in my compositions; I tend to follow the rule of thirds a lot.
Talking about things that are NOT frequent in my works it would be people, I can’t for the life of me photograph people, I mean I’ve done it and will do it again if I have to but I really dislike it, I’m a very awkward and introverted person so I really don’t feel comfortable having to guide someone and praying that they have patience while I do my work.
Also conceptually I like to show how many things that AREN’T portraits can be photographed, in my class 7/10 people were solely dedicated to portraits and half of them concentrating in sensuality and sexuality. One day this idea struck me “in the times of the vanguards, sex was taboo so the artists depicted sex, now introspection and empathy is taboo so I’ll depict introspection and empathy, the art world fights for who’s more original and daring and scandalous, I’ll protest in a silent way, I’ll show a garden without humans”.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Take your time figuring out what you want to do, read and investigate a lot about art, even if you encounter artists and styles or techniques you don’t like, having perspective is crucial not only to be an artist but also to be a human being.
Try to talk to people and create contacts and networks, I’m not saying this in a manipulative way, is just something that I realized now as time went by, having friends in the field creates a network where information flow and you help each other, eventually creating chances of expanding the influence of your work. Most of my college years I spent them on my own but when I opened up to my classmates and teacher I got a big caudal of information and opportunities I could not have had otherwise.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Well to be honest I’m not publicly out. My country is open about LGTB+ in some areas but in other ones different sexualities are still questioned and asexuality is still invisible here.
I tried to come out to friends and some college classmates but I wasn’t specific enough and they just took it as I was being shy or embarrassed.
In college being ace in the closet was actually bothersome since so many of our classes talked about sex and showed oversexualised artists and pieces (at some point I got tired of seeing Nobuyoshi Araki pictures in the lessons). I’m all about expressing our sexualities freely and with no prejudices but day after day seeing sexual pieces and hearing teaches saying my work was not daring enough, was not bold enough really made me tired.
Good lord I remember we were assigned to attend a “performance party” where we had to go dressed as some artist we were randomly given, I didn’t go because I was afraid of what I could see. Said and done, one of my friends told me that someone appeared naked covered in dulce de leche with cookies attached to their whole body and another person went also naked with a lettuce covering their crotch….
Outside of college, high school went smoothly as I wasn’t pressured by my friends to have sex (bless them, my best friends are really sexual but never pressured or made fun of me) and I didn’t even realized I wasn’t your typical straight until my 20’s.
In my family I have low-key been telling them that yes, I want a boyfriend but I don’t have any urges to have sex anytime soon and I’m suspecting they think I’m lesbian but well is not like being lesbian is a bad thing so until they actually realize I’m ace and while they’re not being hostile I’m fine.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That ace people don’t know what sex is or that we’re kind of alien/robots who don’t understand human emotions, I make sexual jokes, I know what’s sex between any gender looks like I’m not afraid of sex or losing my virginity, it’s just like filmmaking for me, I know what’s the deal I’m just not interested.
Also that ace people have HSDD or that we must have experienced trauma… Hear me out, the only romantic experience I had was a success and the dude respected my decision to not have any kind of sex, I have never been in a sexually traumatic situation and honestly the aces that indeed have been in traumatic experiences have all the right to still feel ace, if on the contrary they wanted to regain their sexual desire and being ace was a problem, then of course they could seek help for that, but if you found an identity and you’re comfortable with it there’s nothing wrong in that!
Every behavior is all right until it hurts someone, while you’re not hurting yourself or others then you do you.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Take your time, no one’s rushing you. This is a personal decision and you don’t even have to make it, if you feel like you don’t need a label then don’t use any, if you find yourself more assured with one then slowly think about yourself, experiment, talk with close friends, search for a community and learn. Also if one day your feelings change don’t feel guilty with the community or yourself, sexuality is fluid and we should not feel pressured to maintain a label if we no longer feel comfortable with it.
Also don’t feel pressured to come out, as I said before I haven’t come out explicitly to many of my loved ones and I gathered a huge amount of courage to do this and expose myself as ace, coming out is your personal decision and you should do it, IF or WHEN you want to and feel safe to do so.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
This is the social media where you can find my works, you may find thing on IG that aren’t on FB and vice versa. Sorry if my English was wonky, it’s not my first language and thank you for reading until the end!!
Thank you, Tatiana, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.