Pockets of Beautiful An Interview with Laura Salierno

FAMERS a few months ago I wrote about Raandesk Gallery, an online art gallery.  One of the artists I have been exposed to through Raandesk was Laura Salierno.  She is a photographer that takes the random flashes of life and turns them into framed eternities.  March 3:42 p.m. was the photo that drew me in.  The complexity of the picture wove so many stories in that one shot that I was compelled to look further into her work.  As I explored her work, I realized that all her photos shared that same complex frailty and depth, proving what a magnificent medium photography is.  Recently I was able to interview this vibrant young photographer and learn more about how she sees the world.

SKYLINE/BOOTS (2006), Two individual C-Prints, unframed, 16" x 20" each,

Was photography a passion you had since you were a child?

 

 

I was always very interested in art, loving to draw and paint, but I found photography later. I started to become interested in it at a young age, but it was not until college that I really developed a love for it.

At what age did you begin taking pictures?

 I am not really sure. I always took pictures, mainly of our pets and local squirrels.

At what age did you receive your first camera (Polaroid, disposable camera, etc.)?

I was probably around five or six. It was a bright pink point and shoot, and I loved it. I got my first SLR 35mm camera when I was eighteen.

PLAZA 8 (FROM THE PLAZA HOTEL) (2005-2006), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How did the darkroom influence your love of photography?

 

I really fell in love with the darkroom in college; it was a quiet place for me. The process of standing in the dark and watching your work come to life really enchanted me. I worked in the darkroom during my time in school and printing almost became therapeutic for me, it is such a craft and a labor of love.

As a photographer that works with different forms of photography, what do you believe are the drawbacks of digital photography?

I think that the biggest drawback of digital photography is that less people print out their photos and create albums. I would hate to see photo albums disappear; they are such wonderful tactile experiences of personal memory. I am also scared that people will slowly stop learning how to develop and print film. Digital photography has some really great benefits. You don’t have to (despite how much I love it) expose yourself and the environment to the caustic chemicals in the darkroom, and in a lot of ways digital photography is more accessible to people.

Seeing the world through a camera lens, how do you see the world?

I tend to see the world as a series of small moments, little pockets of beautiful, even if [it’s] sometimes ugly events. Plus I am always looking up; sometime I think I must look like a tourist on the streets.

MARCH 3:42 PM (2005), C print, shot on 645, 220 Fuji film, printed on Fuji crystal archive paper with a luster finish, 24″ x 20″

My favorite photo is March 3:42 p.m., could you tell me more about that photo?

 

This photo is part of a large body of work that is really about those in between moments in life, the times when you are not really doing much of anything. These pauses really make up a lot of a lifetime. I think of these shots as a kind of removed self-portraits, although they feature different people, they are all me observing the beauty in the still times during life. 

Could you tell me more about the SKYLINE/BOOTS series and what prompted you to begin that project?

I thought that it was important to support New Orleans after Katrina, so I went with a few friends for the first Mardi Gras. I thought it would be a gesture of both economic and emotional support, especially since this Mardi Gras was severely under attended. I did not have any real project in mind before I went down there. While visiting it hit me that I was there during such a strange moment, I thought that the juxtaposition of images of the damage from Katrina and the celebration of Mardi Gras was an important thing to share; it spoke loudly of the grace and spirit of New Orleans to me. It also struck me as a fleeting moment something that hopefully will never happen again.

Could you tell me more about the Plaza Series?

The Plaza Series was also a project that sort of found me. The initial concept behind The Plaza series sprang from a conversation with a friend about the ensuing liquidation sale of all merchandise tied to The Plaza Hotel. I immediately wanted to capture that moment especially since The Plaza was such an iconic hotel. I really wanted to make sure that someone captured it in this transitional stage. I joined my friend and went through the hotel trying to capture the eerie nature of such a scene. I am really happy that I seized that moment, I feel as though it is a special time in the history of The Plaza, one that may not come along again.

NEW YORK CITY AQUARIUM (BOYS) (2004), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How does living in New York influence your photography?

I think that New York influences my work in the same way that it influences anyone who lives here; it is a constant stream of information, visual and other. I think that being in NY you are exposed to such a variety of scenes and happenings that you can’t help but allow them to color your existence. 

To view more of Laura Salierno’s photos, visit www.raandeskgallery.com/artist.php?artistId=22.

Photos courtesy of Raandesk Gallery

Model Search 2010

The next top model might not be found by Tyra Banks; she might just be an email away.  Models International is conducting their 2010 model search.  Models International is a boutique agency that prides themselves on giving their models acute focus and attention.  The agency originally started in Los Angeles and opened a division in Manhattan two years ago.  Andrienne Kennedy is the Director of New Faces; she is responsible for the general appearance of the women’s board.  Models International is looking for young women who want to fashion a career in modeling and are serious about being successful.    “I am looking for stars!  This model search is a perfect outlet to scout new faces that can be the future faces of Models International,” Andrienne says. 

To enter Models International’s 2010 model search email your age, contact information, bust, waist and hip measurements and four color photographs to scoutny@mi-agency.com no later than June 15.  The winner will be selected on June 21 and will receive an exclusive modeling contract with Models International NY.

For more information about Models International NY, please visit www.mi-agency.com.   Stay tuned to find out which lucky girl is selected the winner.