Després de vàries setmanes l’artista David Hilliard respón a l’entrevista que van fer els alumnes de 1ESO.
It’s been non stop for the past month or so. So, please forgive me and pass on my apologies to the wonderful students and instructors involved in this process. Below I will try my best to respond in a helpful and insightful manner. David
iNTERVIEW TO DAVID HILLIARD
Hello! We are 1st ESO students from Daina Isard school.
In our Arts subject we are learning photograpy and our teachers showed us your work as a learning tool.
It will be helpful to do an interview in order to know you better and get more details about your artwork.
We are thrilled to get in touch with an artist in order to have new points of view.
2.1 When did you decide to become a photographer?
I guess I’ve always been a photographer. Meaning that I grew up around it. I was born and raised well before everyone carried a piece of photographic magic at the end of their arm (cell phones). SO, if you photographed, you or your family had to buy some sort of camera…and many families had darkrooms in their homes. Both my grandfather and father loved photography. My grandfather had a darkroom in the basement that my dad grew up around and I even had early memories of being in the family darkroom, huddled around a tray of developer (in what I imagine was a poorly ventilated space) basking in the red glow of the safelight, watching murky images of various family images emerged from their latent form. These images later went on to perpetual family mythologies and other sorts of evidence that “our family mattered”. This has always stayed with me….no event being complete unless in was commemorated in a photograph. I was also, even at a young age, that things looked better in photographs; family members behaved, dogs sats, rooms were clean and everyone smiled. We all seems to love each other more in photos.
2.2. What led you to choose this format in your work?
Well, jumping ahead years, I went from working in, and studying, theater, to being an art major and studying fashion design and film. So much of what I did in art school, clothing printed with photographic images, films that were SO STATIC that they almost were still photographs felt indebted to the photographic medium. Almost everything I made was documented (beautifully) in photos. Photos brought everything to life, made them matter. SO, it was suggested to me by a film instructor (who probably hated my static films), that I consider becoming a film major. I knew he was right. I knew I was fighting a kind of “calling”, but for some reason I fought against for a long time…maybe because it was something that I knew so well…felt too much like an obvious choice. I was young. I now realize that obvious choices are just that because it’s what’s best.
2.3. How do you start to work? Do you follow a specific process?
I tried everything. Black and white, color, alternative process, collage…you name it. I will say though, that throughout it all, I was looking at the personal, the familiar, my family, friends, lovers, queerness, strangers…there were themes that existed…the same themes that exist today. Later, about a couple of years into my photo major, I discovered that I liked to join images together…individual images with shifting time and focused that joined together to, usually narratively, tell a story. Much like a cinematic film. I also realized that I like to reference theatre/stage performance. Suddenly all of my interested coalesced into these magical runs of images. It all felt right. AND, it also had roots in my early childhood relationship to photo. Everything felt more “special”…reality and emotions were all augmented in this newly discovered hybrid form.
2.4. What is the importance of light in your photos?
Light, OR lack of light (darkness carries meaning and metaphor as well!) drives much of my work. It can illuminate a person or a moment with a gentle caress or, conversely, it can be shockingly aggressive, augmenting a moment or mood. I hope that’s clear. AND, it’s just quite simply beautiful…and sometimes beauty is enough.
2.5. Why do you take your father as a reference?
My father has always been my biggest support and most loving family member. He has consistently accepted me, for better or worse, on my own terms. He has championed me to be the person I’m meant to be. He also is a man with his own demons and longings. He’s complicated. He’s the kind of guy that society easily overlooks. My dad is personally and universally someone who I feel needs to be acknowledged and represents a demographic of men that often go unseen and under acknowledged. .
2.6. How do you use the points of view and angles to take a photo?
I use my still camera as if it were a cinematic film camera. I work in multiple paneled images that join together. Panel by panel, my focus shifts (a way of pointing), time changes acknowledging the passage of time. Images link together making associations as a group; a narrative is often suggested due to the way I’ve shaped the image and paid certain attention to some objects or people through focus, staging, light etc.. BUT, it’s up to you the viewer to project your moral compass onto the works and make your own associations and conclusions. It’s a collaborative of sorts.
2.7. Is there a / Are there any photos photo you would like to highlight because of its relevance?
I always talk about an image, Rock Bottom, made in 2008. It’s a good one to touch upon. Here you have a father and son. Yet they could be the same person as they have similar physical characteristic and share the same tattoos. But it is my Dad and myself. What I was THINKING about was that no matter what I do, try to be, strive for, on some level I am destined to become this man…for better or worse we become our parents. YET, there are differences (referenced by the space between us. BUT I am hardwired to become a big part of who he is. It’s a battle between determination and determinism….that which we can control and that which we cannot. OR, it’s simple a picture of two dudes in the water…lol. I love that a picture can be SO MUCH or pretty my nothing.
2.8. Can you give as some advice to take better pictures?
Photograph was you care about. Or what you hate…have opinions. BE SPECIFIC in your images, have opinions. You don’t have to illustrate them but make sure they’re there on some level. Trust that your vision, your moral compass with be in the work…do illustrate but use it as the light to shine on your work…your audience will sense it…but leave them room to make their own observations. Don’t be didactic. Make lots of work. Write about your work. Make sure the technical choices you make…camera, lens, printing style etc. are all in service to the content/concepts of your work. Fail with grace, win with humility, take risks, listen to criticism (don’t be too defensive…even when it stings). And try not to lose the joy of creating…if it stops being enjoyable, you’re in trouble.
I hope this helps and I’m so sorry for the delay…it’s probably all too late. I’ve been so swamped with teaching, travels and a few shows. Thanks for your interest and I loved seeing the images you all made. So good!
We want to thank you for your help.
So you can see the result of our photos since we will send them to you. Thus, you will see our work inspired in your masterpieces.
Thanks in advance!