Amy Touchette, Interview on Lens Magazine Issue 33
22 JUNE 2017

An Interview with Amy Touchette

An Interview with Amy Touchette
by Catalin CROITORU

Amy Touchette on Lens Magazine Issue 33Hello, Amy Touchette! And thank you for accepting to share your thoughts with LENS MAGAZINE!

My pleasure. Thank you for having me!

You are a reputable photographer from New York City. Your “playground” is the streets of the metropolis. Please tell us how everything started.

Well, it was a pretty dramatic and emotional start, actually. I was working in New York City as a writer, editor, then managing editor and found the more my career progressed in corporate America, the emptier it felt. I remember feeling so depressed about the realization, because I loved writing from an early age, and I thought I was building the life I should. My solution was to not work so much overtime and instead spend more time on a large scale painting series I was working on at home, which was a really soothing experience at the time, a great departure from office life.

Amy Touchette, Interview on Lens Magazine Issue 33

“With Pete,” from Shoot the Arrow:
A Portrait of The World Famous *BOB*
Copyrights to © Amy Touchette. All rights reserved.

But then a few months later, September 11th happened, and everything changed. I was living in the West Village, just a few subway stops from the Twin Towers. Outside was a city I did not recognize. My neighborhood was blocked off from traffic, odors of the most putrid smell of death and destruction constantly wafted in the air, and everywhere were posters with pictures of people’s loved ones they desperately hoped to find—all of whom were dead.

Once I got over the immediate shock of the event, the meaning of life and its gifts were suddenly so clear to me, and it caused me to completely reevaluate my life. Within a month I started taking photography classes, not even knowing what an f-stop was, but having a hunch photographing would offer me the life I desperately sought to have. And I it did. I quit my job after securing some freelance work and slowly started building a life as a photographer. It’s so strange to me that an event so tragic produced one of the best things that ever happened to me, but it did.

Amy Touchette on Lens Magazine Issue 33

“Winter Morning,” from Shoot the Arrow: A Portrait of The World Famous *BOB*
Copyrights to © Amy Touchette. All rights reserved.

What do you feel when you are “on duty,” walking on the sidewalks and spotting your subjects? How do you choose your shooting spots or subjects?

When I’m out with the sole purpose of making pictures, I mostly feel alerted and happy. Walking the streets aimlessly and taking everything in is my favorite thing to do. But as soon as I see someone I want to photograph, I feel nervous and excited, almost like having too much caffeine. There’s definitely always an underlying fear of rejection at that point too, but photography forces me to confront that, which I love.
I’m not sure how to explain who and where I photograph. I know I love photographing in New York City because the population is so diverse and individuality is so expected here. But my reasons for making portraits—why I choose one person over the other—it’s not something I can put my finger on exactly. It starts with an intuition, a feeling of wanting to remember someone, and that’s all I really know about it.

Can you describe what means “a day” for Amy Touchette? Please do a description of it from the morning to the evening/night.

Amy Touchette Interview on Lens Magazine

“G train, Brooklyn, 2016” from Street Dailies
Copyrights to © Amy Touchette. All rights reserved.

I support my fine art photography career largely as a freelance writer. Having no boss or set schedule means that I can keep photography my focus without having to rely on it to make money. So my days are really different from one to the next. This morning I finalized a writing document, then began responding to this interview. At some point in the afternoon my boyfriend will wake up (he’s a musician) so I’ll take a little break then. Later I’ll start framing some prints for a pop-up exhibition I’m having next weekend, go to a yoga class, return home to try to get more work done, make a post on Instagram, and then maybe meet a friend out for a drink. But tomorrow will be totally different, aside from yoga and Instagram, both of which I do almost every day.

I do have a more regular schedule in the summer, though, because that’s when I make a lot of my photography. In New York City, people are so much more open and colorful and accessible during the warmer months, so I concentrate on making work then and looking at the work—editing, sequencing, presenting, marketing, etc.—in the colder months. During summer days, I photograph from 3 pm to sundown every day, if possible, and try to fit everything else in around that. Working with the seasons this way is super relaxing; just being able to focus on certain parts of the process for long periods of time feels healthy and I think I can get deeper as a result, too.

Did you ever happen to have confrontational situations while you were taking pictures on the streets? What happened? How did you solve it?

It’s funny, so many people ask me this question! I understand why, but for the most part, my experience making street photography is far more amiable than it is caustic. Often people like being photographed (as Diane Arbus said, it’s a reasonable amount of attention to pay a person) or they’re unaware they’re being photographed, so 95 percent of the time, I photograph without incident.

That said, I have had a few interactions that have stayed with me, some of which I resolved well and others I failed at miserably. I try not to be too hard on myself when I don’t handle things the best way and just concentrate on receiving the lesson. But when my photographing does make someone angry, it’s because I’m using my iPhone and I didn’t ask permission beforehand. I usually start by telling them I’ll delete the photo if they want, but that I made it because the light was so nice, or they looked so beautiful, or happy, or peaceful—whatever was true for me at the time. This usually disarms them at least a little bit, because most people don’t know what street photography is or why someone would want to photograph a stranger.

I never photograph people who are in an unfair moment (picking their nose, crying, etc.) or who are down and out, so my reason for photographing is always respectful, a celebration of someone to some degree. This helps my case a lot, but some people still feel I’ve invaded their privacy—that I shouldn’t make their picture without their permission. If that happens, I’ll explain why candid moments are special and tell them the last thing I wanted to do was upset them. Throughout the conversation, it helps to restate their opinions so that they feel heard (“I understand you feel such-and-such a way”) and to be calm, and genuine, and friendly, and also articulate and secure about my passion for photography.
These interactions can be really tough, but actually, they’re the conversations I want to have. My camera is not a gun; it’s a piece of equipment I use to see other people and connect with them, even if it’s just for 1/125 of a second. I photograph people because I admire them for one reason or another, and I want to remember them. It’s important to me that I’m able to say that to another human being, that I can muster up the courage to say something that is ultimately so positive and constructive.

Read the full Interview on Lens Magazine Issue #33

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Copyrighted To TARIRO WASHE © All rights reserved
20 JUNE 2017

THE FIGHTING FORCES OF THE TOWER BY TARIRO WASHE

THE FIGHTING FORCES OF THE TOWER
BY TARIRO WASHE

TARIRO WASHE

TARIRO WASHE on Lens Magazine issue 33

Washe acquired a Higher Certificate in Photography at Vega and as National Diploma in Professional Photography at City Varsity, Cape Town, South Africa. In 2014 Washe exhibited in a group exhibition titled ChanceSubjects/ DelibrateObjects at 6 Spin Street Gallery in Cape Town. In 2017, she held her first duo exhibition titled Fighting Forces of the Tower at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe with Steven Chikosi under their collaboration MESO MAVIRI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIGHTING FORCES OF THE TOWER

Copyrighted To TARIRO WASHE © All rights reserved

Fire Instruments As a nation, Zimbabwe requires 25 fire trucks but we currently have 19, of which, only 13 are functional nationwide. A few well-wishers over the years have donated fire trucks to the City of Harare, an endeavor started and lead by the generous Peter Lobel.  Copyrighted To TARIRO WASHE © All rights reserved

These are selected images from an existing body of work called The Fighting Forces of the Tower. This is a duo exhibition, that showcases the brave fighters who are fire guardians of the city of Harare. A common feature in all Harare Fire Stations is the Drill Tower in which they spend much time training and perfecting the art of Fire Fighting.

Copyrighted To TARIRO WASHE © All rights reserved

Women Fighting Fire
Lead Fire Fighter Chirara is one of the very first of two female firefighters in Zimbabwe.
Copyrighted To TARIRO WASHE © All rights reserved

The work explores the question of the need for a greater understanding and solidarity for the firefighter. The Fighting Forces of The Tower not only exhibits the courageous men and women at the Harare Fire Department, it also aims to bring awareness of the challenges the fighters faces and the impact these challenges have on the community at large.

Firefighters live by the definition that bravery is not the absence of fear, but it is knowing what to do in the presence of fear.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #33

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19 JUNE 2017

LAYERS by Àsìkò

LAYERS
by Àsìkò

 Àsìkò - Layers_ on Lens Magazine issue 33

Àsìkò – Layers_ on Lens Magazine issue 33

Àsìkò is a visual artist who expresses his ideas through the medium of photography and mixed media.
He was born in London, England and spent his formative years in Lagos, Nigeria and adolescent years in London.
His work is constructed in the narrative that straddles between fantasy and reality as a response to his experiences of identity, culture and heritage. His work is layered in light, texture and mood, and is about a conversation on how he sees the world.
His project Layers was featured on the BBC and Huffington Post and exhibited at the South Bank in London. His recent project the Adorned series explores African themes of culture and femininity and was recently exhibited at The Gallery of African Art in London and made up his first solo show at Rele Gallery in Nigeria.
He currently creates works in London and Nigeria.

 

 

 Àsìkò © Lens Magazine

Copyrighted To Àsìkò © All rights reserved

“Layers” is a collection of photographic portraits celebrating the stages of a womanhood. Women from various backgrounds – aged between 19 and 90 years – were photographed in front of an evolving flower wall during a three week period.

Àsìkò on Lens Magazine Issue 33

Copyrighted To Àsìkò © All rights reserved

Layers of freshly picked British flowers were added to the wall as the project
progressed. The added layers symbolize the growth and depth of wisdom women gain as life progresses.

A diverse group of women were selected including a scientist, a team GB gold
medallist, a journalist, a musician, an artist and a writer. The subjects and their life stories are the backbone to the exhibition.
 

 

 

“Layers” is a collaboration between art photographer àsìkò, floral designer Jo Wise and make-up artist Jade Soar.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #33

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ILONA D.VERESK_Bloom_ on Lens Magazine
18 JUNE 2017

Ilona D.Veresk – Fantasy Dreamy World

Ilona D.Veresk – Fantasy Dreamy World

Ilona D.Veresk on Lens Magazine Issue 33

Ilona D.Veresk on Lens Magazine Issue #33

ILONA D.VERESK , Fashion advertising and fine art photographer based in Moscow.
The start of my career: I was born in Izhevsk (Little city of Russia) in 1993, where I finished art lyceum. When I was 17 years old I moved to Moscow to make my dreams come true. In my deep childhood, I always loved to look at the magazines and pictures in advertising, but I didn’t know what is “being a photographer” and what it can become my profession.
I started my way as a photographer about 3 years from now. Before this, I used to work with painting and matte-paint (creating collages from photos in photoshop combined with digital painting). It was a popular genre for filling cd-covers for music bands. It was an interesting thing and some revenue for that my age. However, now I prefer to create real decorations, I dress up my models with handmade props sometimes, as in the start of my photographic career. Most of the photographers started to study from shooting people who are familiar with yourself, I’m not an exception. My first models were my friends.
However, photography is a full-time job for me now.

 

ILONA D.VERESK_Bloom_ on Lens Magazine

Copyrighted To ILONA D.VERESK © All rights reserved

 ILONA D.VERESK on Lens Magazine

Copyrighted To ILONA D.VERESK © All rights reserved

 

“My path and inspiration: I started as a freelancer when I was 16 years old, it became a great experience for further life. Closer to my 18 years I started to travel to Russian cities and finally stopped in Moscow. This city inspires me, after all, boring things I saw before. However, I’m missing the nature, I’d love to see more beautiful places here: like wild forests under my window or small nice rivers and lakes, or giant fields, but I see gray boxes of houses around me. This way nature becomes my lead-motive in art. Surely, myths and fairy tales are a great pantry of inspiration too, but I’m not interested in the exact illustrations of dusty stories, it’s boring. I’m trying to mix my life experience with my vision and dreams. The introduction of modern elements, artificial and natural things, mixing different styles and concepts gives more freedom.”

 

 

 

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #33

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Nina Pak on Lens Magazine Issue 33
17 JUNE 2017

NINA PAK

NINA PAK

Nina Pak on Lens Magazine issue 33

Nina Pak on Lens Magazine issue 33

Nina Pak has more than 30 years experience as a professional photographer, starting with film and then digital media. She is also a wardrobe stylist, set designer and hair stylist. These skills developed out of necessity, and are credited to Dreamloka.
Nina has had the pleasure of working with many gifted designers in recent years, preferring the Avant-Garde’ and wearable art. A wardrobe that touches on the world of fantasy and the surreal.
She has been working with Photoshop since it first came on the market, with years of experience in digital retouching and photo manipulation, she loves to create fantasy imagery using costumes, accessories and props, building sets or adding backgrounds post production.
Over the last decade, her focus has been with fashion editorial work, she has been published internationally in magazines, on book covers and in various anthologies and photography books.
Nina’s inspiration comes from her dreams, she strives to make them tangible with her art. She is also influenced by what she reads, which is often delving into the fantasy and science fiction worlds of some of her favorite authors. She also loves mysteries, mythology, fairytales, and ancient history.

Nina Pak on Lens Magazine issue 33

Designer: April Peters of the House Gallery Boutique, Model: Anisa Salmi, Makeup: Donika Rudari, Hair: Dreamloka
Copyrighted to Nina Pak © All rights reserved.

The underwater fashion work is a recent development since 2012, this environment makes magical images possible, however, it is not in the least bit simple to create this kind of photo. Capturing a few usable frames is by far more difficult than any other sort of photographic work, these enchanting poses are not effortless, they are very demanding, even painful. The models who can move with ease in this subaqueous environment appearing calm and graceful, are truly exceptional. And of course taking the images is only the beginning, as with all of Nina’s creative work, she spends hours perfecting them with post production techniques. The end result is alluring, delicate, in some cases eerie, they all have a mysterious story to tell.
Building a team is something Nina does for every shoot. Availability often dictates who takes part in each of her creative shoots, but all of the makeup artists, hair stylists, and designers she has worked with over the years share her commitment to create something unique and exceptional, something wonderful they can be proud to be a part of.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #33

 

 

 

Nina Pak on Lens Magazine Issue 33

Clothing Designer: April Peters of The House Gallery Boutique, Model: Britt Schafer, Makeup: Artist Jennifer little
Copyrighted to Nina Pak © All rights reserved.

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Nicola Davison-Reed on Lens Magazine 33
17 JUNE 2017

Exclusive Interview with Nicola Davison-Reed

Exclusive Interview with
Nicola Davison-Reed
By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues

Nicola Davison-Reed on Lens Magazine Issue 33Nicola Davison-Reed is a UK-based photographer with a natural light studio in the Robin Hood county of Nottinghamshire.

Nicola shoots portraiture, conceptual, street and weddings; predominantly in black & white. She photographs with two Canons and tends to use homemade backdrops and a bed sheet. Everything she has in her studio has been scored from the local charity shop or has been cobbled together by her, from things she has found lying around.

When her professional assignments are done, Nicola practices and experiments with her personal photography. She loves shooting street portraits, and uses her Canon 5d mark II and pancake lens for this purpose. For the editing and developing process, she uses Lightroom and Exposure7 respectively. She also enjoys Conceptual Photography immensely.

Nicola divides her time between her work and her family, which includes her husband, two daughters and several pets.

 

Hello Nicola! Thank you for agreeing to this interview with Lens Magazine. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.Hello Nicola! Thank you for agreeing to this interview with Lens Magazine. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Sheffield, raised in the Robin Hood county of Nottinghamshire, and I continue to live and work there. I’m a photographer as well as a mum of two daughters. My family also includes my husband and our pets – a cat, a dog and a hamster. Sadly, the fish died last week. My family is everything to me.

I’ve been interested in photography since I was a young girl and have always made photographs, developing and enlarging my own prints in my bedsit when film was the only option. These days, I’m all digital but maybe one day, I will return to the trays and the reels again.

I have lived in Australia for a year, in Greece, in Italy and in France; working in flower farms, telemarketing, the grapevines, au-pairing, begging and borrowing, so as to travel and see a bit of the world, which I managed to do. Although sometimes, I didn’t know where the next night’s sleep was going to be. The whole adventure was totally worth it.

Nicola  Davison-Reed on Lens Magazine 33Please tell us a little bit about your journey as a photographer.
My photography journey started during the long, hot summer of 1975, in Blackpool, with an instant Polaroid and my family. With two sisters and a brother, I had plenty of muses to capture around the sand dunes. I can imagine the journey of a lot of photographers from the seventies, started with the Instamatic.
My inspiration comes from various places – art, music, dreams, literature, societal values, rules, laws, injustice, prejudice, oppression in any form, and of course, the great masters of photography like Eugène Atget, André Kertész, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bill Brandt. The list is endless. Not to mention, the more recent photographers like Chris Friel, Sally Mann, Francesca Woodman, Claude Cahun. Again, the list is endless.

I’m inspired by everyone I meet and everything. There is always somebody or something to be inspired by. It’s the very backbone of my experience and then my work. I can have an innocent, gentle conversation with a stranger and something they do or say can springboard my inspiration.

Nicola  Davison-Reed on Lens Magazine 33Your images have an ethereal and mysterious quality about them. How did you zero-in on B&W photography and this unique style of imagery?
When I was 18, my dad bought me a DIY camera kit (an SLR if you like), with all the gear for developing your own films. From that time, my choice of film has been B&W. The photography books I read were all B&W masters. I just had a natural preference for it. I had experienced the colour Polaroid era and I wanted to learn about B&W.
The still life, the blurred motion and hidden identity images are my personal reaction to the world I live in, have lived in, escaping to or inviting in. My studio allows me not only the physical space but also the inner space required to explore my creativity.

Do you shoot in colour at all? Do you shoot in colour at all?
For my studio business, I shoot in colour, turning images to B&W when colour fails in the photograph. The business folios are mostly in colour. Weddings are 50-50. My portraits, conceptual and street are always B&W.

Read the full interview on Lens Magazine Issue #33

 

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27 MAY 2017

New Contributors, New International Photography Contest, New Style!

New Contributors, New International Photography Contest, New Style!
Lens Magazine Announcing Great Developments.

Exciting Ongoing Developments: We feature eight new contributors in the International Lens Magazine, with each one exhibiting an incredible piece of work that interprets of each month’s subject, resulting in a diverse collection of photography, articles and Interviews.

“As we continue to expand, Lens Magazine is ecstatic to announce new contributors, A collection of some of the most talented and inspiring professional photographers and journalists.”
– Dafna Navarro, CEO&Founder, Lens Magazine

 

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27 MAY 2017

Lens Magazine Announcing Great Developments.

Lens Magazine Announcing Great Developments. New Contributors, New International Photography Contest, New Style!

“As we continue to expand, Lens Magazine is ecstatic to announce new contributors, A collection of some of the most talented and inspiring professional photographers and journalists.”
– Dafna Navarro, CEO&Founder, Lens Magazine

Introducing Eight Exciting New Contributors to Lens Magazine

Exciting Ongoing Developments: We feature eight new contributors in the International Lens Magazine, with each one exhibiting an incredible piece of work that interprets of each month’s subject, resulting in a diverse collection of photography, articles and Interviews.

So, allow us to welcome our new contributors to Lens Magazine!

Alan Kliger
A self-described old school photographer that is passionate about people, Kliger loves to capture the essence of others, as evidenced by his close-up photography style for portraits. Enjoy his latest article ‘Home’ in our upcoming issue.

Anne Pinto-Rodrigues
A writer and storyteller, Pinto-Rodrigues loves to explore, being a well-seasoned traveller that has lived in five different cities across four cities and three continents. Read her extensive coverage of the World Press Photo Festive 2017 in the latest issue.

Catalin Croitoru
With an extensive background in journalism, Montreal native Croitoru has recently discovered a love for photography, taking to the streets of his city to capture the daily musings of everyday people. Learn more about this talented photojournalist with his amazing ‘A Compulsive Thief’ feature article in issue 32 of Lens Magazine.

Sebi Berens
As a photojournalist that has volunteered in Israel, Berens is deeply committed to covering social issues and various news stories throughout Europe, using his lens to help tell his stories. As his studies continues, we are more than happy to have his amazing contribution to the magazine, including the article ‘Welcome Home’.

Guy Geva
Having taken part in exhibitions from the age of 17, Guy Geva captures a range of images in both studio and landscape photography. While different in style, the meaning between each is connected through is main subject matter: weakness and the end of existence, touching upon this theme in our new issue.

Omri Shomer
A graduate of the Camera Obscura School of Art, Galitz Photography School, and Sapir College, Omri Shone has a rich background in journalism and copy writing, although his time as an art director inspired him to combine his writing with photography.

Neta Dekel
With over 30 years’ experience in photography, Neta Dekel brings a great wealth of knowledge to Lens Magazine, including his latest piece covering the Danakil Desert and its native tribes. He is a specialist in geographic and cultural photography, capturing the images of people, places, nature and landscapes, although dabbles in other areas at times.

Guy Aloni
Photographer Guy Aloni views his work as something more than passion; for him it is part of his journey in life. An avid street photographer, Aloni puts people at the center of his work, including coverage of the Bedouin people in his latest contribution – ‘Bedouin’s Home’.

Extensive Coverage of the 2017 World Press Photo Festival, including in-depth interviews with several winners

Not only does our latest issue feature a host of new contributors, but also extensive coverage of the prestigious World Press Photographer contest. This includes analysis of the event itself, as well as interviews with several participants and winners from various photography fields, conducted by the amazing Anne Pinto-Rodrigues.

There is a total of four exclusive interviews to enjoy in our new issue, all of which relate to the overarching subject of “The Meaning of Home”. Each of these individuals were winners of the competition in various fields.

Interview with Underwater Photographer Franciz Perez
WPP Prize: Nature – First Prize, Singles
Interview with Photojournalist/Photographer Paula Bronstein
WPP Prize: Daily Life – First Prize, Singles
Interview with Photojournalist/Photographer Nayan Khanolkar
WPP Prize: Nature – Second Prize, Singles
Interview with Photojournalist/Photographer Mathieu Willcocks
WPP Prize: Spot News – Third Prize, Stories

 

Introducing Our Upcoming Photography Competition “Shining Shot”

Inspired by the friendly competition of the World Press Photo Festival, Lens Magazine is proud to announce our very own competition “Shining Shot”.

We are looking for photographers from across the world in every field to participate in the competition. There’s no restrictions, we want people from all walks of life to showcase their amazing photography skills.

Submissions will be accepted from July 2017, and each winner in their respective field will feature in an upcoming print issue of Lens Magazine, see their work featured in an exhibition, as well as being the recipient of a fantastic prize!

Lens Magazine is available in print and on many digital platforms, including Magzter, Pocketmags, Google Play and the App Newsstand. Magzter is one of the leading digital newsstands in the world today, with a global reach of millions.

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25 MAY 2017

HOME By Mossi Armon

HOME
By Mossi Armon

Copyrights to Mossi Armon© All rights reserved

Copyrights to Mossi Armon© All rights reserved

Home is perhaps the most basic thing in our lives, yet it is an abstract concept with various feelings and sentiments involved: Feeling at home, longing for home, memories from home, a taste of home and so many more.
For some people their home is their castle, for others a temporary refuge. There are those whose working place becomes their home and for the homeless people, the “outside” is their home.
I am interested in the variety of homes, especially those with age marks on them telling the history of the place.
The gentrification changing neighborhoods’ character and the urban renewal offering modern towers instead of the housing projects built for the massive immigration to Israel in the 50’s are examples for accelerated socio-economic processes which change the nature of the environment.

Copyrights to Mossi Armon© All rights reserved

Copyrights to Mossi Armon© All rights reserved

MOSSI ARMON

MOSSI ARMON

MOSSI ARMON
Born in Israel, 1949

1976 – graduated from The Department of Film & Television at Tel-Aviv University
1978 – attended still photography workshops at ICP, NYC
1979 on – working as a cameraman in documentary films and television.
Five years ago I returned to an old passion, still photography, and ever since have been doing it intensively and exclusively. The digital photography opened new and diversified options which I am examining, focusing on the possibilities and flexibility of the media.
I participated in a few group shows in Israel and abroad, and had a solo exhibition last summer at the Rishon LeZiyyon’s artists’ gallery. I’m mostly interested in aspects concerning social and environmental subjects. My main work is being done in Israel, as I feel most comfortable “photographing in Hebrew”.

 

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25 MAY 2017

… And Let Us Fall Apart by Catalin CROITORU

… And Let Us Fall Apart
by Catalin CROITORU

I am a fervent subway user in my city. Not because I was “convinced” by the transportation company’s ads (that are saying something like “Travel by bus or by metro and save our Planet”…), but because is much faster than covering the same distance by my personal car. However underneath there’s another reason for me to board on a subway train: these people I am sharing the same wagon with are fascinating me!
That’s because I have noticed that the travelers, once underground, are totally different from what they seemed like when I look at them up there, outside. The transformation starts when they are reaching the boarding platforms. If they were talking to each other, friends or pals, on the way down – they become silent quickly while they are waiting for the train to come; if lovers were holding hands while descending the ramps and the stairs – they soon become estranged once the lowest point was reached, and their eyes are ignoring repeatedly the beloved ones because the interest was moved towards the rail tracks in a permanent checking for the expected train; if the future passengers were smiling or displayed a happy-mimic while they are using the mechanical stairways – everything is vanished away in a bit the first step was put on the concrete platform of the subway stop.
Those changes are obvious and intriguing. It’s like people are wearing some “masks” or “human makeups” at the surface, while they are roaming the sidewalks of Montreal, and these wearings are taken away by an invisible hand once underground; it’s like an army of robots starts to curdle during the waiting of the train, while the train is moving from a station to another, and all the way up to the light, again. When the street level is reached that “happy-face-for -the-display” is put back into its place.
What caused this change? I asked myself for years – but I am not sure I got the right answer. Firstly I thought the mood changing was caused by the tunnel itself; being separated by the real world by layers of concrete and steel, depending on some tungsten lamps to see where you moving – that could be stressful and disturbing.
But the fear and the insecurity tends to make us more avid for the human contact; a train boarding should not determine the lovebirds to abandon each other’s hand, but on contrary – it should make them grab avidly the other one’s palm in order to get some comfort…

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #32

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