Gerardo Vizmanos is a talented photographer born in Spain. He completed the Photoglobal program at the SVA in New York in 2013 He develops commercial and personal projects in New York and his work has been published and referenced in different magazines like Details, Vogue, Hola, dxi, Neo2, Amenity or Gentleman.
Tell us a few things about yourself. When did you first start taking photos?
I had a late awakening on photography. When I was young living with my family photography and fashion was always around me, but for any reason it was not until I was 30 when it called my attention and I decided to buy a camera. Very soon when I took my first photos I realized that I could use the camera to express even with the lack of vision and knowledge I had at that time. I was curious about trying different things and I decided to take classes to learn more but not planning to become a photographer, but everything happened very quickly after finishing my masters on photography when my school submitted my thesis work for the ITS contest in Italy where I’ve got a fellowship to study at the SVA in NY. Then I decided to quit my job in Spain and to start looking for my voice as a photographer.
Who are some of your favorite artists and how did they influence you?
I have many favorite artists. It’s always difficult to name a small list. Some classic painters like Rembrandt or Goya have been very inspiring. I find Egon Shiele an important reference and lately I’m very interested on the work of Michael Borremans. I have a long list of photographers I like. Big names like Avedon or Irving Penn are always there. I also like the early works of Mapplethorpe and the work of Man Ray, Peter Hugar and the works of Rudolf Schwarzkogler and the Vienna Actionism.
How do you get yourself inspired for a photo shoot?
There is no particular technique. Inspiration is important, but I can’t plan to be inspired on a particular day. It’s more an attitude than a particular moment and from my experience, the more I work the more inspiration I get. I observe and think about what I have around myself and I make moodboards all the time. When I have to plan a shooting I go to my moodboards and I link them with what I have in mind at that moment. I think that everything matters on the creative process, what we do, what we read, what we see and with whom we do everything will have an impact on the work.
When you do a shooting, how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
I shoot during the day two or three times a week. Even though I use strobe lights for most of my photos, I like shooting during the day. I feel I’m with better energy. I like the evenings for thinking, research and retouch. Unless I’m doing commercial work or an editorial where I prefer to work more planned, I like to work on a planned improvisation for my personal work. I plan some parts of the shooting but the final work will depend very much on what I see at the time of the shooting and not on a structured plan.
What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
I have had a few people saying that they find an erotic quiet tension on my work and I like to hear that. I like to transmit calm, serenity and a particular view of beauty. I like people taking this away from my work but I also like they perceive a tension. That’s probably the best way to communicate the personal ideas that inspires my work.
How has social media played a role in your photography?
Social media has been a great tool for me to make connections and to talk and to meet people otherwise it would have taken ages, but on the other hand it can be a dangerous tool to preserve the process of work. The immediate publication and the quick spread of any photo and the fact that our work is going to be displayed in a way we cannot foresee may distort our concept very much. I think social media makes publishing and exhibiting very necessary to show the work.
Describe a typical day in the life of Gerardo Vizmanos.
I like having my routines. I like to wake up early with the feeling of having the whole day to work with no time pressure. First thing I do after breakfast is reviewing mails and messages and planning the day. In some way there is not typical day Planning the photos, meeting the people and researching ideas are time consuming and I try to be organized but I also have my breaks for procrastination, which are valuable. Some of the best ideas come from those breaks.
Are you working on a project right now? Any plans for the future?
I just finished a show in Madrid and have completed some editorial work. I have some ideas for a new project in which I want to try new things, but I will continue focusing on the same elements. I like to follow my instinct and make the projects the consequence of the process more than the cause. My always plan for the future is to travel more and to get inspiration from that traveling collaboration with new people. Whenever I travel I learn a lot.
Interview by Yannis Skarakis