ROMINA IS BORN IN 1981 IN ARGENTINA, IN A SMALL TOWN NEAR TO BUENOS AIRES. HER PASSION TO PHOTOGRAPHY STARTED AT YOUNG AGE BUT WHEN SHE WAS 28, DECIDED TO DEDICATE HER LIFE TO THIS ART.
Your works looks like paintings, but they are in fact pictures.
In general the process starts with an idea, but sometimes starts from an image in my head. Then I look for references and information to create properly the set, scene, styling, etc. Meanwhile I look for the people who will be portrayed. In general I prefer ordinary people and I find them through the social media and from friends’ suggestions. But I have also stopped people on the street, asking if they would be interested in taking part in a specific project. Finally, I take the pictures and I also post-process them.
Do you paint?
Well, I love painting and drawing since I was a child but I stopped doing it long time ago. I love all manual tasks, I am also interested in sculpture and collage, I mean I am open to all different ways of expression. Now I am focused on photography and mixed media but I would probably try different mediums in the future. Especially because I get bored very easily and I usually need to do new things to keep the interest.
Who are your art influencers?
I love many artists, great masters like Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Velazquez, of course, but I am also very attracted to contemporary artists. The list is long but my favorites are Cindy Sherman, Martin Parr, Maurizio Cattelan, Marina Abramovič, among many others.
What is the most expensive work you have produced?
All works are expensive to produce, as you have to pay the team, the models, the props and materials to create the set, the clothes in some cases. Not to mention the equipment which is very expensive. Also making an exhibition is usually very expensive considering printing (on fine art papers), shipping, framing, travelling, etc. If you meant expensive regarding the selling price, there are not big differences between the images, what makes the difference is the size of the prints, and of course the signature (signed copies are very different than the unsigned ones).
Where would you like to exhibit?
I would love to exhibit at Moma or Tate one day.
Tell us about the first photo you took.
I don’t remember. I had my first camera when I was a child and I took it to all my travels, so it was long time ago. But last year my best friend from childhood gave me back a photograph I gave her many years ago. It was the first pic I took with a Polaroid camera and it was totally black with a lovely dedication at the bottom, it was not a good beginning! (she smiles).
Do you feel particularly close to a specific photo?
I feel very close to “Pop-Corn” and “Bubble Gum”, my pics from the “How would have been?” series because that was the first fine art series I did and it opened me many doors in the Art world.
If you had to explain to a beginner how to shoot well, what would you tell them?
I would say they have to read and learn a lot before, not necessarily in art school, but you have to see thousands and thousands of great images to train the eye, to see what has been already done, to add a new value. I think you have to take your time to get a more mature eye, to find your style and to be honest with you.
What is the relationship with the subject that you shoot?
It depends, sometimes I portray friends and family, sometimes I prefer people that I don’t know personally. But during the shooting I want people to spend a nice day and enjoy a new experience, as in general they are ordinary people, not professional models. I always try to make them feel comfortable.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you do?
Well, I am actually a business administration graduate and I am also an accountant, but I was very unhappy working in finance, I am not the kind of person to be in an office, following orders and a routine. I think Art saved me from a miserable life, so I don’t see myself doing anything else.
Your next photo?
Tomorrow! I will be shooting more images from the series I am working on now, titled “Ladies”.
Your most beautiful memory.
Many. My father’s smile; playing with my friend in the streets during our childhood; Christmas in the family when I was a child; first New Year’s eve in NYC with my husband.
Official website www.rominaressiaph.com
Photos courtesy of the artist