Gabriele Guerra, who is better know around the web with the name of Gabridreams, is a young Italian photographer from Ferrara , now living in London,that I had the pleasure to discover through the Deviant Art community. He works on portrait photography and delights himself to work in the self-portrait area.
I had been really excited when I discovered that he was in for an interview! He is one of the few young photographers from the Deviant Art community whose talents I always been an admirer of. In my opinion his photography is not just beautiful but also comes as a deep, understanding work of the human nature.
Interview with Gabriele Guerra
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve always liked this quote from Sylvia Plath, that I have adapted to me: “A passionate, fragmentary boy, maybe?”. Hopefully I’m less fragmented than I was when I first jumped on this lovely sentence!. Apart from that, I’m a self-portrait artist from a little village from northern Italy. My wanderlust and vision has pushed to leave it behind with the aim to find myself and my place in the world. Still on the hunt, but London is indeed a lovely place to linger in the meantime!
For how long have you been a photographer?
5 years ago I took a compact camera in my hands for the first time. Some time and some usual natural macro photographs later I find myself aspiring to become a fashion and portrait photographer.
How being an artist did influence your current life?
Quite a lot! All my younger years as a teenager have been captured in a photograph or self-portrait one way or another; and I need to say, it helped mature very much. Even when I was flat hunting I caught myself pondering how this room could work for my next personal projects, lighting and space wise – it has definitely gotten into my head!
Where do you take inspiration for your art works?
Like most people say, inspiration can come from everything in your life. In the former years I took material from struggles and not-so-happy moments in life and created art out of it. What I’m trying to do now is to move on from that rut and become a mature artist, finding and channeling inspiration from joyful, reflective and lively moments as well. My latest projects were inspired by a Biblical inspired quote, Diane Arbus photos or just the lighting at sunset in my bedroom. Have fun experimenting!
Would you like to tell us a little about your Art works and what you create?
I may have given away some parts in the earlier question, but what I focus more about in moment are self-portraits, even though my will is to be able to interact with other creatives and explore the portrait side of my photography more. My art is about expressing a feeling, an emotion or a concept. I was the only one available for many years and I still happen to be most available to myself, so here they are so many shots of my face and body! Nowadays I understand how useful it is to know what it is to be both behind and in front of the camera, when it comes to directing a model for a change. I wouldn’t be so aware about what a model has to deal with if I hadn’t gone through that myself in the first place. Like a writer needs to write to outlet what is inside of his/her ever-working mind, photography does that for me!
Do you work with traditional or digital techniques? Or both?
I work on digital platform only! Lightroom to store and download the photos, faithful Photoshop to edit them and, of course, my beloved DSLR Nikon!
Could you name for us a book that influenced your way of thinking as an Artist?
I don’t have a book that has done that for me but, as foreign languages literature student, I can mention a few names that clicked with my personal taste: Virginia Woolf, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides and the English Romantic and Victorian Movement, to name first things coming up in my head. I’m much more of a visual person, anyway, so I would enjoy mentioning Tim Walker or, at the total opposite part of the spectrum, Diane Arbus, as photographers I really look up to.
How are Art and Design seen and lived where you live?
Sadly, from when I come from (Italy) Art has not the place that, in my opinion, should be given to. Italy is the country epitome of Art and Culture and nobody seems to understand that. Since I moved to the UK I had the opportunity to experience how -again, sadly- refreshing things can be different just beyond the Alps. Just take a moment to consider how young people and creatives are highlighted or the fact that museums or Art galleries are free to visit! Not everything that glitters is gold, of course; and at least design is, in my opinion, taken more into consideration in Italy.
What will be the next event you will be attending as an Artist and why?
I won’t be showcased as an artist nowhere in the near future; but I do know that I will be starting to work as the editor of photography for an upcoming fashion, culture and lifestyle online magazine, XXY Magazine; whose website is launching mid this month! so keep an eye out for that and hopefully, I will have the opportunity to do something on my own during the course of this year.
A message to readers?
It’s easy to give up and feel like you will never reach your visions, goals and dreams in life, above all in this competitive field. It’s important to me say that, no matter how hard outer circumstances may look, how impossible it all seems from where you are now or according to what people say about you – keep on pressing on towards what you feel is your place, job and call in life =)
Be hopeful, faithful to yourself – even when you have just yourself around – and dare to live the life you want to live!