Welcome to the 10th edition of Spotlight! In this edition Spanish photographer and crochet artist María José García will share some insight with us on her mysterious photography, vintage looking crochet work as well as her influences and inspiration. Enjoy!
Bleaq: Could you introduce yourself and your work in a few sentences?
MJG: My name is María José, I’m 32 and currently live in San Sebastian (North of Spain). After studying History of Art and Photography I decided to focus on the latter. I try to create my works from an artistic perspective, expressing personal feelings and emotions. My pictures are happening each other in a narrative form inviting the viewer to create their own story. I usually work digital, but it’s my intention to focus my personal work on analog photography. I love the magical traditional darkroom processes.
How did you get into photography? Did you have a specific moment when you knew you wanted to pursue a career in photography?
MJG: I have always loved photography, but at first I used to practise it in a different way. The photography lets me preserve memories, collect moments. In 2006 I had the option to do a course on photography, but it was only an introduction. Later, in 2010 I decided to start a professional photography course. Discovering the pictorialism made me fall in love with photography in a different way. I realised that photography offered me the opportunity to express my creativity, making my fantasies real.
Your work has a very vintage look and feel, both the places and models you picture and the techniques and edits you make. How does history inspire you? What other inspirations do you have?
MJG: I guess I’m influenced by my training in History of Art. I have seen and studied many works of art, specially those of the past, and it has made me see photography from an artistic perspective, creating my images with a vintage atmosphere. I love the early photography era. Nature and mysticism are also important sources of inspiration for me.
Your models ofter wear the vintage inspired crocheted collars and accessories you make yourself and sell in your Etsy shop ‘Absenta Accessories’. Can you tell a bit more about Absenta Accessoiries?
MJG: Absenta Accessories began thanks to the interest I have always had for handcrafts. I learned to crochet from my mother when I was a child and since then I keep teaching myself. I started making small pieces. At first it was a hobby, but some time ago I remained unemployed and I decided to use this time to widen my knowledge. Over the time I have been defining my own style. Old fashion and art are my main sources of inspiration. I particularly like to use vintage pieces that bring a unique and special style to the crochet creations.
– Image from the Absenta Accesories Etsy shop
Who are your favourite artists? How do they inspire your work?
MJG: Eiko Ishioka is one of my favourite costume designers. I specially like the creations she made for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’.
I also like the inspiring work of textile artisan Jevda. She makes very special one of a kind pieces with old materials. Some of her creations like the wedding dress “Russian Princess” or the ethereal dresses “Russian Ballerinas” move me to a dream world. Ellen Rogers is one of the current photographers I most admire. I love her sensual, enigmatic and mystic photography.
It’s probably like asking parents which of their kids they like best, but do you have a piece or pieces from your work that you like best? If so, why that one?
MJG: One of my favourite pieces is the Collar-top. I have a special affection for that piece because it’s a remodelation of one of the first collars I made. I think it’s also one of the favourites of people. I also like specially the Fringed capelet. I think it is a garment that gives a touch of mystery to people who wear it. I enjoyed myself so much during the photo shoot for this piece. We went to a magical place and the atmosphere was very mysterious.
With many social networking websites it’s almost hard to keep track of everything! How important is the internet for you as an artist?
MJG: Really it’s hard to keep track all social networking websites, but it’s a way to share your work. I think it’s a necessary part of the process nowadays. Otherwise it’s also a great way to discover great artists around the world with same interests.
Last but not least: can you recommend a book, movie or artist you’ve enjoyed lately?
MJG: Recently I watched Jane Eyre, 2011, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. I found it very inspiring and very visually captivating. I also discovered some talented jewel makers: Pagan Poetry, Under the Pyramids, Elemental Child and Blood Milk. And also photographers like Courtney Brooke, Aëla Labbé and Allison Scarpulla. I am particularly happy to have discovered the magic work of Helena Aguilar Mayans. My accessories and her photography will be together in a collaboration very soon.
Bleaq: That’s it. A big thanks goes out to María José for being so kind to answer my questions: thanks! And thank you all for reading, hope you enjoyed learning more about this amazing artist. Of you like María José’s work you can take a look at her website or follow her on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest or Blogspot. Have a lovely weekend, see you on Monday!