Devoted to the analogic photography, Arthur Meehan realizes pure and unadorned nude female portraits that become genuine pieces of great beauty. Though a tiny, analytic eye he captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time.

I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography.

Which is your first photographic memory?
Printing in the darkroom.
We know your interest in photography happened by chance. Would you mind to tell us how this happened?
I was studying business at a university and a friend invited me to come and see him do some printing in the darkroom and I loved it.
You say your artistic heroes are the sculptor Rodin and photographer Edward Weston. What about their art has made the most impact on your series?
For Rodin it was his passion for the female form and for Weston it was his dedication to keeping things as simple as possible when photographing and using only daylight to shoot his pictures.
What do you enjoy most about the photographic process?
I like the old school way of shooting and then developing and printing. I really dislike the whole digital thing as it has taken the mystery and romance out of photography. Everything is about now and no one has the patience anymore of waiting to see if you got the shot or not. I also feel that the digital revolution has made everything look the same. It’s all retouched and you have no idea of what is real or not.
You are devoted to sublime flowers and nude studies. Which is the reason why you are investigating these two themes thoroughly?
I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form. I usually shoot flowers when I need to be alone and think. It is a sort of therapy for me. To me visually there is not a difference between the shapes of flowers and women.
Your portraits are pure and unadorned. Your female figures are genuine and authentic as nature intended them. Your tiny, analytic eye captures natural beauty as it is and depicts it simple but very deep at the same time. How could you reach this effect?
I really don’t have an answer for this one because I am not sure how I do it myself. I just shoot what I love without thinking to much or making it complicated. I guess one could say that it is just how I see women.

I started with women because I love the endless shapes and feelings one can obtain and I view the flowers as another female form.

Your photographs are unique pieces of great beauty, pervaded by a subtle sense of romance. Through light and shadow, you seem to ask your audience to seek for something deeper inside your composition. What’s hidden beyond the shapes of your beautiful shots?
That’s for you to imagine. It can be whatever you want it to be.
The celebration of natural beauty and perfection can be seen in your “New Flowers” series as well. Here, your parrots and ranunculus appear as graininess painting; behind your shots, petals are soft, fragile to touch, they seem to smell good. You are able to catch them in all their simplicity, and perfection. How could you be so finely deep?
I think that when I go through dark times in my life, I somehow subconsciously gravitate to the light. I escape into my own world of beauty and vision.
You seem to be able to speak gently to your models, reaching their heart. That, is even more true if considering the pregnancy series. Which relationship do you usually develop with them during the shooting?
I am very relaxed and never have a preconceived idea about the shoot. I just have the models come to my home and we have a coffee and talk and then just slowly find our way into the shoot. It’s a very quiet, gentle and organic process.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
None.
What leads you to become a professional photographer?
I just love it.
Your next project.
I am showing at the Festival Eoropeen de la photo de nu, in Arles France. It takes place May 5-14- at the Espace Van Gogh.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is I think to much and my greatest quality is my honesty and loyalty.
Make a wish.
I just did!

Davide Padovan is a young Italian photographer devoted to nude and portraits series. He captures visions, where a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. He works on long series of photographs made of different shots combined one to the other, making sense when all together.

I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.

Which is your first photographic memory?
My first photographic memory is a Polaroid we took at the kindergarten during a birthday party.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I will probably go for the photograph of the guy diving in the pool. I guess I took it 4 years ago.
A famous person you would like to portray.
Rossy de Palma.
A famous picture you would have liked to take.
One of the Brooklyn Gang series by Bruce Davidson.
We know you are passionate about long term series, precisely of feminine portraits. It seems that while working on a series, you investigate inner themes, you observe with an analytical eye, you are in search of something deeper. What are you looking for while shooting?
I’m just looking for what I see, nothing else, nothing more. It’s just another point of view about the body.
Light plays an important role in your photography. Precisely, it helps to draw feminine beauty, to outline feminine profiles and bodies. Light enters the inner spaces, but this is never an invasion. It’s delicate, soft and gentle. It touches lightly your bodies. Light mixes with shadows, and emotions emerge. How do you reach this effect?
Well, I always try to look for a decent combination of natural and artificial light (such as lamps) but at the end it’s just a fortuity.
Beauty emerges from your shots. The beauty of common women, without make up, pure and genuine as they are, while lying in messy beds, sofas, or just on the ground of bare flats. How do you feel while shooting? Which kind of relationship do you develop with your models while shooting?
I ask to them to be as much comfortable as possible, in order to be able to take the best picture.
Speaking about “A Common Sense Of Disorder”, portraits alternate with dynamic black and white photographs. At first sight, the situations you are documenting are opposed and contrasting, they seem to have nothing in common. What’s the conceptual idea under this choice? Is there a trait d’union between the shots?
I think there is a number of images that you can find often in this series, under different kinds of forms, like a repetition. It’s quite unconscious, I think. I try to combine them, not always with a good result, actually.
You are a deep observer; you search for the surreal reality around you. Your photography captures visions; there, a sense of loneliness contrasts with the invasion of private spaces. Where do you usually find your inspiration?
I don’t know if I am a deep observer; there is no inspiration or something like that, I think I took picture of what interests me more, and captures my attention.
Your portrait sessions are more frequent than other kind of projects. However, your portfolio collects interesting exploratory projects, where the surrounding landscapes play the main role. What could you say about your approach to nature? What is your relationship with your surrounding reality?
Nudes and portraits represent just the 50% of my production and I always try to make a connection between them and other kinds of images. I think that landscapes are a natural consequence. If you analyze the human behavior, natural or not, the landscape is a second step where to put your feet, I suppose. Moreover, you are forced to have a relationship with the landscape. It’s just there, in front of you.

The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.

Where does your love for analogical medium come from?
The analogical medium is not better or worse than digital, it’s just a different choice of medium. You need to think little bit more and, of course, it tastes different.
Lights, shadows and emotions interact and mix in your photographs. Looking at your art, we can say your shots have a proper soul, they speak for themselves. Is this made on purpose?
Well, I think that pictures are not able to stand alone. The culture of the social media destroys the inner sense of series or projects. In the 90% of the cases they are just single images to be consumed immediately. They are just images. On the contrary, my images are born to stay together.
Your next project.
I don t know, I’m working on several thinks right now, but without good results at the moment.
Your main flaw and quality.
Bad memory.
Slow.
Make a wish.
To take decent pics, at least in my point of view. To travel.

Luca Bortolato is an Italian photographer based in Venice. Dreamy, fairytale like and gentle, he designs his images in an almost minimalistic way. His pictures are real dialogues; they tell silent mysterious stories and they reveal a small part of himself. Fascinated by the power of pictures since always, he investigates his identity through others

I’m a convinced supporter of the idea that we are exactly our pictures. This means that they reflect our intimacies and sensibilities, as litmus paper.

Which is your first photographic memory?
A picture of my dad. It dates back to the 60’s. It portrays him during the military service. It was the first and unique time I saw him without mustaches.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Dumas.
“Rising” by the heart breaking Lhasa de Sela.
The only boarding school I’ve ever wanted to attend is the Welton Academy in “The dead poets society”.

Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
They are three, actually.
Each of them represents an important moment in my path, a sort of turning points:
1. La Consapevolezza / The Awareness (the first picture of the first black and white roll, from which I got more than I had ever expected).
2. Gli Azzurri / The Light Blue Ones (it was the time of colours and suspended places. After a deep research, they would have found me).
3. La lucidità / The Luminescence (all of my last year production. My work has never been so clear to me).

A famous person you would like to portray.
Me.

A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
If I had done it, it would have not been the same.
I’m a convinced supporter of the idea that we are exactly our pictures. This means that they reflect our intimacies and sensibilities, as litmus paper. As a consequence, it is impossible to recreate an image that already exists in someone else.

Let’s start from your last series “Mericans”. Here, you portray a slice of life in New York, the city that never sleeps, “the apple made of restless metal skyscrapers; the place where flavours and smells of thousands of skins and nationalities mix”, you say. What made you decide to realize it? What is the reason behind the title choice?
“Mericans” differs a lot from the rest of my artistic production.
I was the first one to be surprised about it.
I had never been interested in “Street Photography” (a term too much used, I think).
I travel quite often. However, my camera is never with me, just because I need to live deeply and fully the reality around me.
New York started as a diary of memories from a place where I would have never come back. At least, not in the short time. I started from something that I already knew very well: the concept of identity. I’ve never been interested in faces; they have always been as a mirror to me, where to drown. In those days, New York becomes a reflection where to look at myself.
Since the beginning, I have recognized the tangible sense of solitude and melancholy I was used to, into a city interested in showing exactly its opposite.
It seems that the city could offer thousands of different opportunities to those who live there, to those who try to, and to whom, like me, come from distant places with no intentions to stay there for long.
People were there, as they were repeating to them that at the end, everything would be fine.

We are now thinking about “Alterità”, the series of female portraits you exhibited last summer in Milan. Six big sizes portraits of young, pure women. They are alone and naked in front of the camera. We don’t know who the subjects of these self-timers are, as we cannot see their visages. Their identities are shown just by little, tiny details of their bodies: a tattoo, a couple of moles, the line of their lips. “Alterità” is not just photography, it mixes with performance as well, because all visages of the series have been removed by a precise, net tear. What does this series reveal about yourself and your search for personal identity?
All my artistic path speaks about me.
It is like a draining, extenuating research over the many sides of me. It was a kind of exorcism of the parts of me I love and I cannot accept at the same time. As a result, it has gradually become a sort of “photography of acceptance”; a path dedicated to discover my inner side; a self-analysis made through other people. To me, people have always played the role of filters between reality and me. In “Alterità” I investigate the self-portrait, but by leaving space to the subject to photograph him/herself without me interacting in it.
Later, then, I have taken my identity back with a strong act, a rip, a scream able to underline my action of taking back all that I had missed till then. It was the act of bringing back the picture to my personal icon.

The photograph starts a long time before the moment of holding the camera. We both need time to build a trustful relationship. This happens through words and acts of listening; it happens little by little

Women are often the main protagonists of your art. Your women seem both fragile and strong at the same time. You portray them naked, half-naked, or just through few details of their elegant bodies. By your intimate photographs, they seem to be able to unveil themselves totally. How could you reach this effect?
Just by listening to them.

How do you feel while taking picture? Could you tell us something about the relationship you build with models during the shooting?

The photograph starts a long time before the moment of holding the camera. We both (me as the photograph, and the model) need time to build a trustful relationship. This happens through words and acts of listening; it happens little by little by filtering all our nudities, something even scarier than the act of laying naked in front of a stranger. We are both a medium through which to reach ourselves. It is a dialogue, and it always will be.
We fall in love with our thoughts and our act of dreaming.
At the end, the photograph in itself is just the result of a study based on our difficulties in opening to the others in a sincere and spontaneous way.
Everything starts from my deep love for other people’s inner being.

A wild minimalism permeates your photography. Ethereal places and elegant skinny bodies emerge from blurry horizons where the sky mixes with the sea. The seaside can only be barely seen. Waves keep their methodical movement towards their temporal unicity. All seem permeated by silence and mystery. Spontaneously, your photographs arouse histories in the observer’s mind. How could you get to this final result? Do you follow a precise project while shooting or do you prefer to take photographs naturally?
I’m always looking for synthesis in my images. Everything starts from something extremely full, that gradually undresses. Excesses release. The centrality of the subject determines by itself the importance of the surrounding scene, in so creating by itself a sort of “non-time” inserted into a “non-place”.
While investigating ourselves, we get never to clear closed answers. On the contrary, the research leaves space for imagination and it makes other questions arise. In so doing, my images are the result of a number of questions I usually make to myself. They force me to accept and deny everything again.

I’ve never been interested in faces; they have always been as a mirror to me, where to drown.

Did it ever happened to you when you realize you have not your camera with you and you have just seen something very interesting to shoot?
I have always my phone with me, and I can take pictures with it.

Your next project.
I would like to be able to enter even more in my images. In a physically way, also. I’ve been working from almost one year on a new path, that includes just one single subject and a small amount of photographs, produced little by little. It’s a new, slow way to present myself, searching to stay clear headed.
At the same time, I’ve found again my interest in landscape. However, this time I’m not trying to speak about far unfamiliar places, as in the series “Mericans”. In the contrary, I’m investigating my land, a place so full of tales and familiar aspects that have always been part of my past. Photographs will be created while moving, taken directly from inside my car. The project will be a representation of my reality. I’m conceiving them as “Postcards”.

Your main flaw and quality.
Egocentric and self-centered.

Make a wish.
I wish it was tomorrow already.

Yana Toyber is an Ukraine-born photographer based in New York. She has been in love with art and photography since always. Under a gentle spontaneous touch, she portrays women, lines and profiles of feminine bodies. In her art, water plays an important role as well, transforming into a sculptural element of her photography.

Which is your first photographic memory?
It’s funny. There is actually a picture of me in my crib staring at a Polaroid. It looked like it was very deep in thought. Since it was documented, I clearly remember that night and the fun photo shoot evening I had with my family.

What made me solidify my career goal to become a photographer was how images always made an impact on me and seemed to burn into my consciousness.

Could you describe yourself with a book, a song and a movie?
This is a very interesting question!
I always think I’m the star in my own movie called Yana. Book, I guess if we are talking fantasy I can relate to the Bene Gesserit Witches in Dune. Song, I can describe myself with two: Everything at once by Lenka, and Lil Kims’ verses in Quiet Storm by Mobb Deep.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
In my “Sacred” series there is an image of a nude women standing on lava rock back facing the viewer with her arms up as ocean water crashes behind the rocks.
A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
Tiny in “Streetwise” series by Marry Ellen Mark. She wears a black dress and gloves and a black hat with veil she appears to be hugging her self. Also so many images Guy Bordin took.
A famous person you would like to portray.
I don’t care to portray anyone else.
How did you get close to photography?
I have always loved photography. What made me solidify my career goal to become a photographer was how images always made an impact on me and seemed to burn into my consciousness.
Speaking about “4Sale”, we know it is part of a collaborative experiment you made with other female visual artists. Could you tell us something more about this interesting and unique co-operation? How did you feel while working on it and shooting your fellows?
There was a feeling of constant creativity while doing the project. It was also widely accepted by everyone who came across it. We received a lot of press and I feel we all grew as artists during the project.
“4Sale” collects a number of underwater shots where clear, elegant and sinuous feminine bodies emerge from a dark background. They are in pair, alone, their eyes are closed and visages are often covered by hair. The atmosphere is blurry, out of focus and unclear because of water. What does water mean in your art?
I used water almost as a medium in “4Sale” and other projects as well. Almost like a sculptural element.
The duo water-women is quite frequent in your photography (“Sacred”, “Embrio” and “Rebirth”, just to mention). Where does this conceptual and artistic choice come from?
It feels natural I like the energy. Partnerships are important to me. In my work negative space is often explored and I feel like shooting two subjects in a frame is often a beautiful way to start that exploration.

I’m currently starting work on a Documentary project featuring my transgender friend.

In your spontaneous portraits we perceive a celebration of feminism. Under a gentle touch, you portray women and the lines and profiles of their bodies, in so celebrating their grace. How could you reach this effect?
I guess it’s simply my vision. I honestly do work which comes to me on a subconscious level I believe. I feel like I’m just a messenger.
The same soft and gentle touch could be perceived in the series “Working for a man”, where you describe random episodes of the oldest, but also one of the most dangerous professions in the world: prostitution. These fearless women you portray are catched in between work and waiting, never in the sexual act. Where does your curiosity for this theme come from?
The series is called “Working for THE man”, actually. It’s an American saying about working for a corporation. At the time. I was interested in comparing marriage to prostitution. How depending on men for income is so common for women in this country throughout history. Whether it be in a marriage or as a prostitute. The differences and the similarities. How socioeconomic situations lead women to choose certain careers. The project wasn’t really about acts of sex.
You left your original country many years ago. Do you remember something from Ukraine? Have you ever felt that emotion Germans define with the word Fernweh, meaning the ache for distant places, and feeling homesick for a place we have (almost) never been?
I grew up in a very Russian neighborhood in NY so I felt some connection. There were many of us living there from Ukraine. I was curious about the town I came from and I got to visit family there in 2003. That visit pretty much ended any curiosity I ever had.
Speaking now about New York, the city you are living now into, what can you tell us about its nightlife, habits and culture you have usually shot?
NY nightlife changes very rapidly. It’s fun! And often Status driven as well.
You end your personal description by saying that you live with a monster. That catched our attention even more, we dare to say. What does this mean? Could you tell us something more about it, please?
Hahaha that’s my cat name.
If you had to choose an era, which years would you like to live into? Why?
I like living here right now! It’s a very exciting time and it’s all I really know. Any other time would be a fantasy.
Your next project.
I’m currently starting work on a Documentary project featuring my transgender friend.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is bossiness. My main quality is love through acceptance.
Make a wish.
I wish for more love, understanding, health, and money!

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