Interview: John Giannatos | ITSLIQUID

Interview: John Giannatos

Interviews | February 2, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

Interview: John Giannatos
Luca Curci talks with John Giannatos during the 6th Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Medina Art Gallery.

I am a street and cinematic photographer. I love the process of observing and finding visual arts in ordinary places. What I see and photograph are cinematic and narrative moments like a very short film. Through photography, I try to push the boundaries of realistic depiction, working with prime material from the world of experience while resisting mimesis and the impression of colors. I want my photos to create questions and not answers. What I see and shoot are narrative and storytelling moments, like a very short film. Life is a movie. It is an art film that evolves around us every moment, with us in the leading role and all the others as supporting actors. Photography comes to give maximum value to the moment and to remind us that we are passers-by on this journey of life.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

Luca Curci – How did you get into photography?
John Giannatos – Great question! I have always been interested in photography since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until the rise of digital photography that I began to take it more seriously. As the technology improved and cameras became more accessible, I started to experiment more with my photography and began to explore the art form more deeply. I started to read books and articles about photography, and I took some classes and workshops to improve my skills. I also began to seek out other photographers and attend exhibitions and shows to learn from them and gain inspiration. I found that I was particularly drawn to black-and-white photography, as it allowed me to focus more on composition, form, and texture, rather than being distracted by color. I began to develop my own style and approach to photography, and I have been working on honing my skills ever since. Overall, my journey into photography has been a smooth and gradual process, as I have continued to learn and grow as an artist over time.

LC – When did you realize that photography could also be a life lens?
JG –
I realized that photography could be a life lens when I started to receive recognition for my work and people began to take an interest in my photography. Photography could be a powerful lens for exploring the world around me and expressing my creative vision early on in my journey. As I continued to develop my skills and refine my artistic approach, I began to see that my photography was having an impact on those around me, and this inspired me to pursue it more seriously.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

LC – What do you think about art on social media? Are they turning into the new showcases of contemporary art?
JG –
The modern world is saturated with information, and social media has become a major platform for sharing and showcasing art. While this can be a great way for artists to reach a wider audience, it can also create a sense of quantity over quality, as images are evaluated based on quantitative indicators like the number of likes or shares they receive. As a result, the concept of what constitutes art can become complicated, with junk and masterpieces sometimes given equal weight. This pressure to appeal to the masses can sometimes compromise an artist’s true self-expression, particularly if they rely on their art as a source of livelihood. In the end, whether or not an artist can produce art while making a living from photography depends on the individual. However, the need to constantly create content that is pleasing to others can sometimes detract from an artist’s authenticity.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular?
JG –
Yes, I use art to explore and express three major fundamentals of life – life itself, love, and death. Each of these themes carries profound meaning for me, and I seek to capture their essence through my photography.

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
JG –
The message behind the artwork I have presented in this exhibition is the powerful and multifaceted role that women play in our lives. As bearers of beauty and life, women have a unique ability to inspire us and connect us to the world around us. This message is connected to the theme of the entire exhibition, which is a celebration of the many ways in which art can bring meaning and joy to our lives.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
JG –
The first photograph is a striking back portrait of a woman walking through a medieval landscape in Medina, Malta. Her coat and hood obscure her features, leaving the viewer to wonder about her identity and story. The photograph invites us to contemplate the many layers of history and meaning that are embodied in this ancient city and to imagine the woman’s journey through this storied place. The second photograph is a mysterious and enigmatic image that depicts two women, one young and one old, in the castle of Folegandros. The two figures are connected in some way, but the exact nature of their relationship is unclear. The photograph suggests the passage of time and the ways in which our experiences shape us over the course of a lifetime. It also hints at the possibility that the two women could be the same person, separated by years or even centuries. Together, these two photographs offer a rich and complex meditation on the themes of time, identity, and the enigmatic nature of human experience.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us?
JG –
The ITSLIQUID Platform is a fascinating and multi-faceted resource for artists looking to expand their reach and connect with others in the community. On one hand, it offers a highly effective platform for showcasing and promoting one’s work, with a wide range of tools and resources designed to help artists build their audience and share their art with the world. At the same time, the ITSLIQUID Platform is also a place of deep and meaningful connection between artists, a space where one can share ideas, collaborate on projects, and build a sense of community around one’s work. In my experience, the platform has been a valuable source of inspiration, allowing me to connect with other artists from around the world and learn from their unique perspectives and experiences. Overall, I highly recommend the ITSLIQUID Platform to any art.

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Image courtesy of John Giannatos
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Image courtesy of John Giannatos
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Image courtesy of John Giannatos
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Image courtesy of John Giannatos

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