Industrial Portrays - Interview with Federica Cogo

How and when did you approach photography?

«I studied Painting at the Accademia G.B. Cignaroli, in Verona, where I work now, and therefore my vision of  photography has something “pictorial” in it. However, my degree also gave me the chance to learn about photography, an expressive medium that kindled my interest and played an important role in my artistic development. Nowadays, I create my artworks mixing video art, painting and photography».

What does photography mean to you?

«It’s a way to turn my ideas into reality. This is also true for the photography series selected by Alidem, Ritratti industriali, which I conceived as a way to express my thought. When I’m travelling, though, photographs are meant to capture my personal view on a specific place».

What are you trying to communicate with Ritratti industriali?

«It’s a series of five shots, aimed to investigate the relation between human and animal. I portrayed animals of different type surrounded with the respective industrial food product: a cow immersed in milk, a pig standing over a mountain of bacon, a chicken surrounded by eggs and a goat sinking in cheese. This way, I wanted to depict animals as they are, and also as the sources of products we buy instore».

This seems quite a sourjuxtaposition…

«Yes, this work is characterised by the strong contradiction between the reassuring presence of animals and the harshness of the message I want to deliver».

What about your technique?

«For some shots I used ambient light and a light-box, for some others I chose an artificial light, because I wanted to lend a romantic atmosphere to the picture. The subjects are miniature models: this choice is due to my interest for the world of objects and toys, a theme on which I’ve been researching for a while».

Considering the peculiarity of your artworks, can you tell us if you’re inspired by any specific photographer?

«I have an appreciation for many photographers, especially for Andres Serrano and his powerful and meaningful shots. However, I don’t rely on any specific model for my work, although I spend a lot of time reading and researching. My approach to photography is really intuitive and differs from the one of professional photographers, as they usually have a stronger technical background and use pictures as their privileged mean of expression. I usually go with my gutfeeling, and when I find something that intrigues me I try to carefully capture it».

What are you working on now?

«I’m working on a photography series on table design, to carry on a project I’ve started longtime ago about objects and toys. In this case, I see the table as a metaphoric object for a family or a couple, and I use digital drawing to portray them from various perspectives. It’s something some how different for me, but still in line with my artistic view».