Photographer Interview: André França
|Photographer André França|
Barbie dolls frozen in water… These subversive and beautifully jarring images in fine art photographer André França‘s Vanishing series are what first drew my eye in to his talent. Follow André França on Twitter @andrefranca and/or friend André França on Facebook.
D&B: Where are you from?
AF: I was born in Brazil, in Canavieiras, a coastal city in the state of Bahia. I have lived in Salvador (Brazil) since I was 14 years old, but I usually make my photography series in other cities and countries.
|From the Vanishing series by André França|
D&B: What kind of photography do you shoot and how did you get started – any “formal” training?
AF: I work with fine art photography, elaborating conceptually conceived photography series. I believe my work begun when I felt mature enough to do my first series. I don’t have any formal training; I am a self-taught artist/photographer who studies continuously.
D&B: What cameras or techniques do you use?
AF: At the time I am using a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens. The techniques applied vary in each photographic project.
D&B: Who are your mentors (in photography)?
AF: I don’t think I’ve had any mentors. However, in different moments in my career, I realize that my photographic eye and my artistic vision were influenced by names such as Edward Weston, William Eggleston, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Helmut Newton and Cindy Sherman.
|From the Art World São Paulo series by André França|
D&B: When did you realize you could have a career in photography? Describe your journey towards becoming a working photographer.
AF: In 2003, when I displayed my first photography series. My development involved years of studying and observing the work of masters of photography, as well as contemporary photographers. The moment I initiate my production and the pace at which I produce new series are exclusively dictated by my internal motions.
D&B: What do you hope to achieve with your photography?
AF: I hope to share aspects of my world view with others; thoughts, reflections on issues I am interested in. And I hope that these experiences produce subjective displacements in the spectators.
D&B: What’s your dream photography project?
AF: My next photography project. Each project resembles a small dream –or a big dream–, presenting its own challenges, difficulties and questions. Once it’s finished, it’s like a dream come true.
|From the Art World London series by André França|
D&B: What’s the biggest (life) lesson you’ve learned through photography?
AF: Two things. First, photography helped me realize how fragile our memory is; how the images, the memories –even those of happy moments– can fade away, just like an old picture, and disappear entirely. In our mind there is indeed this tendency toward disappearance. But photography helps us retain some images that will remain in our memory.
Second, photography showed me the possibility (and gave me this fortune) of sharing thoughts and reflections with many people, with few geographic or linguistic boundaries.
Dodge & Burn is a blog dedicated to documenting a more inclusive history of photography and supporting the work of photographers of color with photographer interviews.
This blog is published by visual artist and writer, Qiana Mestrich. For regular updates on diversity in photography history, follow Qiana on Twitter @mestrich, Like the Dodge & Burn Blog page on Facebook or subscribe to Dodge & Burn by email.
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