Jun 20, 2016
Alex is a photographer and filmmaker from Barcelona whose artistic and documentary approach to photography covers topics such as memory, holding and community life, amongst others. His images are always quiet and serene but at the same time intriguing and expressive, inviting us to debate and discover the meanings of the scene. Alex’s images are multi-layered and every time we go back to them we will uncover hidden surprises.
Following we want to present an interview we had with him:
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
ALl - I’m Alex Llovet. I studied Humanities, Cinema and Photography. I have written and directed various short films and have published photographs in several specialised magazines and newspapers. My work has been exhibited in different countries and I’ve self-published two books “Dear neighbor” (2014) and “Faraway so close” (2016) [The series presented here].
am - How did you start in photography?
ALl - My grandfather was an enthusiast amateur photographer. He would take family pictures, portraits and travel photos and develop them at home in a small dark room. I’ll always remember the strong smell coming out of that room… Many years later, when I was around 18 years old and about to leave on a journey to Morocco with a couple of friends, my father gave me his camera, an old Canon A7. That’s where I took my first pictures.
am - What inspires your work?
ALl - Photography has became a way to understand the world and to get to know me better. But it’s also a medium to connect with the invisible and subtle layers that surround me everyday.
am - What is your series “Faraway So Close” about?
ALl - FSC is the diary of a journey. In 2009 I became a father. Overnight, and with no idea of what was in store, I saw my wife give birth to our first daughter. A deep love towards that tiny person slowly inundated my life. But the stronger the light, the darker are the shadows, and becoming a father sent me back to dark episodes of my own childhood. You cannot be a father without the memory of being a son, so five years later, I aim to fuse these two roles through photography in search of my own identity. I go into the woods, sometimes alone, sometimes with my daughter, because that is where my memories lie, and where realities resonate as distant in time and space as they are near emotionally. And this exercise inevitably describes the limits between reality and fiction (like my pictures, some of them “found” and some “staged”), because the passing of time pushes the truth into forgetfulness and maximizes the imagination.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
ALl - That’s a very difficult question to answer in a few lines! Some of my favorite photographers are Winogrand, Friedlander, Madoz, Adams, Castro Prieto, Koudelka, Sugimoto… And some of my favorite artists: Vermeer, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Michel Angelo, Picasso, Miró, Turner, Bacon…
am - How would you describe your photographs in 3 words?
ALl - Identity, Memory & Honesty.
am - When you are not taking pictures, what do you do?
ALl - Apart from reading, listening to music and going to exhibitions, I’m also a father who likes to spend time with his family, and that includes lots of activities! And I’m a musician as well, in a project called “The Pinker Tones”, so I basically write and record songs, and perform them live.
am - What are 5 things you could absolutely not live without?
ALl - Humans have an amazing ability to react and adapt to new and unexpected circumstances… Nonetheless, here are five things I would find extremely difficult to live without: my two daughters, my wife, nature and art.
am - If you could travel and stay in a place for one year, where would you choose to go?
ALl - Indonesia.
am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment?
ALl - Benjamin Clementine.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
ALl - “Citizen Kane”, by Orson Welles.
am - What’s your favourite author?
ALl - Julio Cortázar.
am - Gin, vodka or tequila?
ALl - Tea.
am - Do you have any project in mind that could be a personal or professional challenge?
ALl - I like to challenge myself with projects that remove me from my comfort zone, so there are always ideas floating around…
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.