by Sara Calviño
Today we interview New York-based photographer Albert Font that shares exclusively his last series of photos that he took downtown, Brooklyn. Albert font was born in Spain but moved to the United States to build his own career, in this interview he explains to us how this change has been and how living in New York has shaped his apparatus of work.
- When did your passion for photography start?Living in Europe (London, Berlin or Madrid) I did street photography through fanzines. I wasn't working on that and I came to New York to develop it a bit. I always used film and 35mm cameras. I had no chance of doing anything other than that because I had never been taught anything and I hadn't studied either. Everything was self-taught.Doing street photography in Europe I came here and met Camila Falquez, a photographer from Barcelona. I showed her my photos and one day she had a shooting and she told me to be her assistant. I went and we enjoyed working together. I had never really seen a 125mm camera and I loved it. I told her to call me for more occasions and she did. I started to learn more and she was also becoming more recognized.She was like my mentor in the world of fashion photography. I bought my cameras, I began to try things, to speak to brands, thus entering the world of "fashion" a bit until I found my peace that is black and white as very emotional, nostalgic, understanding ...I already had a passion for photography, coming from the world of graffiti, drugs, crime, children, the world of the street in London, in Berlin ...
- What is your role as a photographer?
My role in photography is to express the feelings that I have inside and also to express them through the clothing of the brands I work with. I think it is very important for me that the photo has emotion whatever the brand, whatever the art direction. There always has to be an emotion, a feeling, something that can be transmitted and that I can transmit from there. My role is as a shaman of emotions from fashion. I try to show a little more purity through my photography.
- What do you want to transmit to the viewer?
What I want to convey are different things, but normally they are experiences that I have or sensations that I have lived, that I have seen that other people have been able to feel. The way to express feelings is like a dance, it's like waves.
- What is your starting point when taking photographs?
First of all, what are we going to shoot: a brand, an editorial for a magazine, a personal project ... from there I think the starting point is to be able to fit an elegant composition with emotions and feelings that you want to express, is to make the gear between what is pure fashion along with feelings.
- Has COVID made you retreat your role as a photographer?
Yes. I wondered if it was not the job that is needed right now. We have been very scared here in NY. Apart from being scared about the health issue, we are also scared because it is not the job we need. As soon as the world, culture and art are paralyzed, it is something that stops. I broke down quite a bit because I believed that we were going to spend about a year or two without working and that I should still be a doctor and help people and that being a photographer was not the ideal thing at this time. Despite this, during confinement, it is when I have sold more prints and more paintings and that made me reflect and realize that people were still interested in buying art and culture and so I took the reins again and told myself that If it was what I wanted to do, it was the profession in which I can be myself.
- How would you describe your style?
Black and white, nostalgic, understanding, sad, sentimental, very cancer. Very pure and dark at the same time, very loving. All feelings are taken to the extreme. I also do a lot of jobs that are totally out of my style obviously because otherwise, we wouldn't have money. I have many influences from Renaissance paintings. Very ironclad.
What does NY give you that other cities do not?
Different cultures from all over the world, closer to better brands, closer to more professional people, faster learning, faster learning languages, people, cultures ... I would like to stay another 4 years and then go to Europe again. If I had to leave in a year I would like to go back to London or Berlin with more fashion baggage, more knowing what makes me be myself with the work that I do.
- How is the artistic circle there?
Huge. You find artists everywhere and that makes you have more competition, you can hold on to them to advance further so that you can collaborate with them ... You can pretend that the artistic movement references for you. If you were living in any other city you would not have these references. Here the city is a culture all the time. Millions of people doing different things all the time. Learning is the most important thing about being here.
- Do you miss something about Europe?
Quality of life.
- One song?
Hector Lavoe-My lucky day.
- One artist?
Model/ Isioma Iyamah