Lights and still lifes - Interview with Jaime Lieberman

How and when did you take up photography?
«It was an epiphany in a moment of pensiveness during my wild years as a teenager. I was a peculiar guy and I was not interested in the same things other kids at my age were. One day, I remember I was very concerned about my future and I was wandering what to do for a living. I started looking at a picture on the wall that I had taken on a school trip and suddenly an idea struck me! I’m going to be a photographer. It was a second of clarity and self-confidence. After that moment, I knew what kind of life I wanted for myself. At the beginning I was hoping to become a photo-journalist and to travel around the world. But as soon as the Digital Era started I got very disappoint, as everybody that had a good camera could be a photographer. So I quitted photography for a few years. But something deep in my soul needed to carry on photography. My work comes as the result of years of experiments with light, and the pleasure of producing pictures just for myself».

Can you please speak about the photographs selected by Alidem? 
«The selected pictures are part of “Still Life 2.0.”, a project where I try to represent our contemporary time through our belongings. I believe that our things show who we are. The objects are charged with the soul of their owners. The aesthetic and the light are my priorities in building the image. The background is dark, because I wanted the colours and the shapes to stand out. Sometimes I also change the colours of some objects, so that they can either blend in the background or stand out».

What about your technique?
«In all my work I am interested in the use of light. I believe that light is for photography what a brush is for painting. I started this project trying to create an atmosphere that would not be real. I wanted to obtain the same highlights as the classic still life paintings. The only source of light that I used is a little lamp, to enlighten the gloom. I work in total darkness and because I use long exposures I can “paint” with this little light each part of the scene. I light the scene from different sides to get different highlights from every direction. After that, I digitally retouch and blend the photos, as I want to have full control on light and shadow. Some of my pictures can be made with more than 30 different images».

What does “photography” mean for you?
«Being a photographer is a way of living. The world looks different to you, you can frame reality constantly to find beauty everywhere. Light and shadows have a powerful meaning. Silhouettes and the diffraction of light prevail over the objects. You get to see the world through a peephole».

Are you inspired by any photographer or artist?
«There are so many inspiring artists. In photography, for istance, Ansel Adams, Cartier Bresson, Robert Mapplethorpe, David Lachapelle, Helmut Newton, Peter Witkin, Jan Saudek,  David Hockney, Ricard Avedon, Chema Madoz, Guy Bourdin. In painting, artists such as Juan Sánchez Cotán, Arcimboldo, Isabel Quintanilla, Roberto Bernardi, Pedro Campos, alsoKandisky, Salvador Dali, Richard Estes. And many more!»

What are you currently working on? Do you have any future projects?
«I am working on my still life photography, to make it sassier! The changes of light and the meaning of the scene are more thoroughly pondered. I am also working on two other projects, always experimenting with light. One of these is focused on the city. I used the city lights to create abstract images, full of movement and emotion that can express the soul of the city. The other project is about the body in movement. Thanks to the use of different sources of light, I managed to portray mysterious figures, from an imaginary world, that show the human subconscious and our deeper feelings».