"As if it also wanted to say something": an interview with David Rodriguez
This month's featured image comes from David Rodriguez, a photographer based in Spain. His photography pushes past the expected and asks you to look closer -- both literally and metaphorically. Here, he talks more about his featured photograph, "Hush," and and his artistic process.
1. What drew you to Split Lip? How does the featured photo this month speak to that?
The first thing that attracted me about Split Lip Magazine was your philosophy and the way you mix literature and pop culture. I like the idea of being able to mix different artistic disciplines into the same publication, be it painting, narration, poetry, photography, etc. As Split Lip, I do not conceive them in an isolated way, but I believe that they complement each other, and offer the viewer the possibility of enjoying a more elaborate and richer product.
This idea connects with the work that I want to develop. In my photos, I try to display different elements, and to do that I inspire myself from various sources. Not only "the visual" inspires me, I can also rely on other things, such as the lyrics of a song, a poem or a picture.
"Hush" is a photo that transmits many things, not only the image, but also its title. I like playing with the interpretation that every observer can give to my photos, and "Hush" is no an exception. When an image does not leave you indifferent, and it generates a different feeling depending on the viewer, you are being a transgressor.
2. In addition to water, it seems like a lot of your photographs feature bodies in closeup. What inspires you to explore the body in this way? What do we learn from an extreme closeup, like in "Hush," that we might not from viewing it at a distance?
For this photograph I wanted to emphasize as many details as possible, not only in the features of the water drops, but also the attributes of the face of the model behind. The image that appears in this photo is a message in itself that expresses a thought or an emotion. Here, the degree of intimacy and closeness is extreme, as well as the one perceived by the viewer who observes it. You can perfectly analyze all the features of the face. Looking at this photo, it seems that we are almost invading the privacy of the person, but the wet glass acts as a wall, as a stop sign, as if it also wanted to say something.
3. In your bio, you mention that you "always try to go to a little further." Can you expand on this? What does "going a little further" look like to you?
I do not like taking photos in a conventional way; there are already many photographers doing that and very good ones, by the way. There are photographers who have an incredible eye for photography, who master different techniques and that their execution is perfect. Even though I admire them, that is not the option I take. When I say that I want to go a little further, I am saying that I want to leave the comfort zone and transmit something else. I am interested in arousing feelings in the viewer, making them think or reflect. I use photography as a medium to express myself, but also to maintain a dialogue between my work and the viewer.