With a camera and thoughtful planning, Italian artist Valentina Loffredo (@thatsval) leads us into her world of beauty and possibilities.
Where feelings can take geometric shapes, solitude can be playful and recharging, and where being little is an opportunity.
I use photography to bring to life images I have in my mind. I like the challenge that this medium gives me: to use reality in order to make up something that started as imaginary.
What role does the photographer have in society?
Photography, like other languages, can have many roles: to stop the flow of time, to give relevance to an instant, to report, to denounce, to uplift, to inspire change. However, I don’t think this is always intentional. In my case, I feel the need and the joy to express myself through my work and I put it out there for the others to see and experience in their own way.
What themes do you pursue?
My photography celebrates possibility. By showing people as little creatures in the vastness of space, my work shows and celebrates our opportunity to grow, explore and embrace the unexpected.
Irony is a tool that is essential to me as I love when a photograph insinuates doubts about reality by the representation of reality itself. In a world where we feel almost forced to have an opinion on anything and defend it, I would like to show how liberating can be to feel free to have doubts, to question ourselves and change our mind.
Who inspires your work?
Magritte (as a painter and as a photographer), Franco Fontana, Rodney Smith, Sandy Skoglund. But also painters like Picasso, David Hockney, De Chirico.
What makes a memorable photograph?
The vision and the art direction of the photographer. What’s behind the photograph attracts me more than the subject, the theme or the aesthetics. I like it when I am exposed to a choice of the artist and surprised by his/her creative process. That is why the photography I like the most is staged.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
The grace we indulge in when we look beyond when we expose ourselves to something that we had not considered, with curiosity and vulnerability.
What motivates you to keep taking pictures?
The need to express my artistic vision, some times, and my silly ideas, some other times.
What are some of your favourite photography books?
“The photograph as contemporary art” gives a good introduction on contemporary photography and it’s the only photography book I finished reading. I prefer to go to exhibitions, museums, fairs or look at documentaries and videos, rather than reading about photography.
When you shoot, how much in instinctual and how much is planned?
It is mostly planned and staged.
How has social media played a role in your work?
It has been crucial. The opportunity to be a stranger among strangers gave me the freedom to experiment and to dare. The amazing feedback was a great motivation too.
What advice would you give yourself if you started in photography all over again?
Buy a professional camera sooner. I like to see my pictures printed and the camera does make a difference for prints.