A Small Bouquet of Small Stones and (the) Nothing(ness) Else

Vitor Bossa

Vitor Bosa is a visual artist formed by the Institute of Arts of the State University of São Paulo (UNESP). He works with recording issues and, above all, the photographic language. His work has been developed with an emphasis on analogue media, such as film photography, in 35mm, medium or large format, or in polaroids.

When creating his narratives, Vitor proposes the contemporary, either by the union of the objects on view, his images briefly out of focus or even his unpredictable constructions. His work ends up becoming a hybrid that inhabits the boundaries between art, documentary, daily, everyday, fashion, still lifes and backstages.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Where did you grow up, how did you “find” art, how did your love of art and photography started?
I’m from Guaratinguetá, a city in the countryside about 2 hours drive from São Paulo, the biggest city of Brazil, where I live nowadays and grew up there until my 16. Then I went for an exchange in London, came back to Brazil and finally moved to São Paulo, where I studied visual arts at the University of State of São Paulo.

I think the way I became interested in art has a lot to do with the place and the way I grew up, it has always been a certain "loose" way of raising me that my mother used to approach. So, having a lot of freedom and the fact of being in the countryside has always given me the opportunity to not see the world as people do in big cities. I spent the biggest part of my childhood at a farm with my grandparents so there was no rush and a lot of nature around, since , and a lot of nothing to do as well! That way, I used to draw a lot and spend time creating stuff to play around.

My love of art was something that came to me. I was 17 and about to go to University and there was nothing else to do besides art! I have never even flirted with other area, like engineering, MEDs…. It’s funny that since I was a kid, I’ve been always related to creating stuff, even knowing that in my family no one has worked in something related to art.

Photography was something I started practicing when I got into university, but never had admitted that was my language, I think I spent too much time painting, sculpting, drawing and even tattooing while I could have been practicing more taking photos. But anyway, I guess it was important because it shaped the way I think nowadays. So, by the end of university I quitted everything I was doing at that time and started using photography as my main language.

2. Has your aesthetic developed and changed over time?
Yes, developed it’s a bit hard to say, but changed for sure! My early influences were and still William Eggleston, Wolfgang Tillmans and Luigi Ghirri, so I pretty much began and still as well (ha-ha) to take pictures of my everyday life.

By the beginning, it was a more random way of thinking, see and photograph. It definitely was important to have the practice and it kept going like that. Nowadays it goes a little different since you have more knowledge about what you want to photograph and look at.The last big change in my aesthetic definitely was an artistic residence I’ve been involved in Denmark last year. It made my work still go around daily life issues, but in a more documentary way, like Alec Soth, for example.

3. Who or what inspires you? Anything at all. Or rather, are there certain things that you think about when you’re beginning a series of photographs?
Lately, I’ve been very interested in documentary photography works, like Alec Soth and Matthew Genitempo. Anything that is visual attracts me, good or not, it’s important to look at them and try to understand the reasons behind it. Reading stuff is also important for me, although I’m not the most patient person to be able to sit my ass and read. I like to read during my bad moments, when I’m sad; then I can focus on it. As well taking pictures, definitely it’s the best way to deal with hard times. Music has always been a passion and pretty much I can’t live without my earplugs plugged!

Talking about series of photos, it’s hard to find something I think in the beginning of the process. Primarily, I let the work speak for itself and then try to polish in order to give the best results.

4. Can you talk a bit about the role of light in this serie?
The role of light in this series has a lot to do with how I see light. At the university, at some point, I had a professor which introduced me to Diogenes the Cynic. Which has the story where he kept walking in the daylight with a candle lighten searching for something, and when someone asked him what he was looking for, he said: the truth.This influenced me in a way now I’m looking for this dialectic of real/artificial matter, and light itself is one of the main subjects.

5. What time of day do you work best? Morning, late afternoon…?
It's tricky, just because there is always a camera or a notebook with me. Normally I’m writing or taking pictures as soon as I see an opportunity. If you let me, then I work 24/7, just because my personal work goes in the direction of being alive. But as an internal clockwork, I suck at after lunch period, best by the mornings and nights!

6. In this work we can also see a persistent duality between the pictures: (light/darkness, b&w/colour) that somehow reinforces the presence of time.
Yeah, for sure. Time for me it’s a very important issue, and the way I capture it as well. I have the necessity of capturing the light in as many ways as possible. If I have five cameras with me and I see something I like, then I’ll have five different pictures of the same thing. It’s really interesting to replicate reality in different ways, then the viewer can interpret the meaning in their own way.

7. Any future ideas or projects that you have in mind?
I think so! Soon I will have my first book released. It’s called When We Left to The Moon and it combines my writings and pictures, an introspective journal about things I believe in.

Also something it’s just about to be born, it’s a very personal photography series. Recently I bought a large format camera so I am looking forward to shoot it, but for now, everything will be done inside the apartment where I live, and surprisingly for me, everything would be in black and white. But I know that might not happen hahaha.