Interview: Patrick Corrigan
Luca Curci talks with Patrick Corrigan, one of the winners of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – FEBRUARY 2021.
Originally from the Rural Midwest, Patrick Corrigan graduated with A Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago in 2001. He received his first camera when he was 10 years old and extensively worked in photo labs throughout his career which continues to be an integral part of his photographic process. When not obsessively taking or printing images he can be found exploring the Pacific Coastline and running Airlift, a design company that strives to move art and design forward. He currently lives and works in California.
Photography connects me to people, environments, and myself. I love ethereal atmospheres that create a sense of the unearthly. I’m a synesthete and inspiration comes from a range of different sources. I keep a camera with me at all times to capture emotions I see throughout the day. I’m particularly inspired by environments that evoke familiar sensations for me and as a result, I’m more comfortable in the new worlds I create than I am in everyday environments. My images tend to pull from the preternatural and the ethereal and convey a sense of tranquility. I typically look to the future instead of nostalgia within my work.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Patrick Corrigan – Art I believe is a construct that enables the artist to express, make sense, and ultimately understand the world around them. I found this to be true and believe we’re all inherently
born creative but over time some we can forget this. I suppose in many ways making art reminds us who we really are and I believe it’s like “coming home again” or spending time with an old friend.
LC – What are you currently working on?
PC – I’m currently working on several projects and am trying to finish a larger project that I hope to publish sometime this year. The project is entitled “Sentient” and it aims to explore people, places, and objects that we might perceive to be alive, able to feel, and or show awareness or responsiveness. It’s primarily a project that I’ve been working on since COVID began and we’ve all been in quarantine as a result.
LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
PC – It’s both internal and external for me. I’ve often believed that photographers who lead interesting lives make interesting work. I believe as a photographer or artist you have to put yourself out in the world and many times in a situation where you’re vulnerable, in danger, or be out in the world at times where other people wouldn’t be. When I put myself in these types of situations inspiration certainly takes over, but am still evaluating internally how to capture a specific image. I find inspiration in my overall process and critiquing my work when I’m not shooting is just as important, if not more so, than capturing images.
LC – How much is the editing process important? How’s yours?
PC – Editing is critically important and it enables you to improve, make sense, and/or push the boundaries of your work. I’m constantly in an editing process and my studio walls are littered with my images. Pairing images and building a narrative in order to build worlds for the viewer to enter only happen through editing and constant practice. In addition, I believe it’s important to print your images out and get them out in the physical world in order to inform or uncover alternate possibilities.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
PC – I think when we all start out we are naturally drawn to take certain types of images and everyone genuinely sees the world differently. I’m still very much attracted to a certain aesthetic when I look back at some of my images I shot years ago. My work I believe has gotten more refined and am trying to hone in on what my real voice is within my work.
LC – Where do you find inspiration?
PC – I can’t point to a single source of inspiration as I’m a synesthete and it really comes from everywhere. It certainly can come from other artists, literature, media, or from internal or external processes.