Interview: Valentin Pfeifhofer
Luca Curci talks with Valentin Pfeifhofer during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 and THE BODY LANGUAGE 2021, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Valentin Pfeifhofer is a professional landscape photographer and photo artist from South Tyrol. He currently lives in Berlin. His work shows unique and special scenes, in mostly untouched natural settings. Valentin’s mission in life is to raise awareness for the unique beauty of our planet and to share this wonderful beauty with his fellow human beings. “Who sees can understand, who understands can act. Action brings change”. With every purchased picture you support the protection of the rainforest and other environmental protection projects.
Luca Curci – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
Valentin Pfeifhofer – To me, an excellent landscape picture emotionally draws the viewer into the scene depicted – feeling the sun warming the skin softly, tasting the clear summer air and experiencing the wonderful feeling of freedom and satisfaction of a fantastic day in the mountains. To capture the vibrancy of a scene, a harmonious composition is just as important as exciting atmospheric lighting and the right timings. It is like preparing a delicious dish – many tasty ingredients come together, and with fresh spices, the result is a blessing for the soul.
LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
VP – Both. Often a specific idea occurs to me, which I try to bring into reality – the best example would be with my experimental photographs. Even with classic landscape pictures, in advance, I would usually have an image in mind. On location, I let nature inspire me, even guide me, by following my intuition. In this way, my idea merges with what I find.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
VP – Since I started my full-time self-employed photo artist business three years ago, I have been choosing my subjects carefully. I plan many of the projects roughly a year in advance. Then there are also more spontaneous projects and work commissions that happen throughout the year.
LC – What is your creative process like?
VP – Before a shoot, I like to find out as much as possible about the location. I locate the best position on google maps, think about the equipment I’ll need, what weather is expected… Then I plan if I will stay overnight on location, how much food I will need, and so on. In creative cycles, I am on the road a lot, sleep a little, experience exciting and unforgettable moments, undertake exhausting hikes, and often spend the night in a tent at about -16 degrees. I love to explore new areas; it is there that my senses are as sharp as an eagle’s eye. To capture the highest dynamic range possible, I shoot in RAW format. This allows my images to come to life in the digital darkroom with the highest level of detail and best resolution for printing. I process the scene naturally, as I experienced it on location.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
VP – It’s wonderful to be an artist these days. Of course, there are many challenges. It’s not just a case of producing art, you must deal with many peripheral issues, like paperwork, ensuring your visibility, generating sales… In other words, you have to be an entrepreneur and to think like one. In addition, you have to be artistically creative and present yourself in that way. As in any business, there are challenges to overcome, however, I see those as a positive thing to grow with.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
VP – Even the definition of the name ITS LIQUID is terrific, in my opinion. Every single person on this planet lives in their own reality and sees the world through their own eyes, in their own personal way. My work shows my view. The theme of the exhibition complements my work perfectly. As modern cities and thus the living and working spaces of us humans adapt more and more to our needs, this also includes the integration of natural elements such as plants, green spaces and impressive pictures of landscapes and nature. Studies have shown that such harmonious images increase well-being and help us to live a more relaxed life.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
VP – There is not much that inspires and relaxes us more than untouched natural settings. Such places of peace provide the necessary balance for our souls. This is what landscape pictures do, they help to relax and increase our general well-being. My selection of pictures focuses on two of the most popular holiday destinations: the mountains and the seas. Five of my exhibited pictures show motifs of the Dolomites, while the other five show beaches around the globe.
LC – Did you enjoy collaborating with us?
VP – The project manager has always managed to help me with every issue. It’s been a real pleasure for me, to be part of such a great art platform.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
VP – My experience with ITS LIQUID Group could be described as professional and sympathetic; especially given the difficult situation we find ourselves in at the moment. In Venice too, I had a wonderful conversation with its director, Luca Curci, who never ceased trying to find the best solutions for everyone and everything.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
VP – I think that ITS LIQUID group will continue to establish itself in the next few years and become even better known in the art scene worldwide. I’m looking forward to being part of their future projects. I also support 100% the goal to increase public awareness about environmental issues. It’s our world, our habitat and now is our time.