ART + CULTURE | PHOTOGRAPHY
HUNTER & GATTI
Interview by Sandra Benbaruk
-2016 Fall/Winter Issue-
SB: How did your power duo start up?
H&G: We started working as art directors in an agency in Barcelona, working with clients like Burberry, Diesel etc. That was a long time ago, and we are together because our creative point of views works in a great synergy.
SB: Why did you decide to become photographers?
H&G: After working as art directors, we decided to create our own agency. When you work hard on a concept, you have what you are looking for very clear in your mind and finally, if you don’t achieve what you want, you feel that you are losing something. for us, the photography was essential and without controlling that, we do not achieve what we want, that’s why we decided to jump into the photography, to really achieve what we have in mind.
SB: Which city do you prefer to work?
H&G: Every project is different. it’s not the city, it’s what you will do in that city. But of course, cities like New York or Los Angeles is where we shoot more, really versatile cities, but we remember great projects in cities like Tokyo, Barcelona and London.
Credit : Anja Rubik + Toni Garnn by Hunter&Gatti
SB: It seems like you love stepping out of your comfort zone to be creative.
What motivates you to do so?
H&G: As we said, we started working in an advertising agency, working as art directors, after being website designers. We are very used to change, which is always natural in a creative path, but we love the challenges, love to learn, grow, and experiment. For us, it is part of the creative process because change never stops.
SB: What kind of women inspire you the most?
H&G: Definitely a strong woman with personality, with character.
SB: Can you define your photography aesthetic?
H&G: It is not easy to define what you do. Many people say that we work in a very glamorous industry with strong characters, but we feel that our passion is a mix between fashion and art to create unique pictures that we can enjoy from different perspectives.
SB: Who were your early photographers, painters influencers?
H&G: Influence is everywhere. Honestly, the influences change every month, every day. The most important thing is to be open all the time. Inspiration is everywhere, you need to be very open to let it flow in your creative process.
SB: Your paintings intertwine with your photography. What is the attainment of this experience for you?
H&G: Our desire is to bring a new life to the traditional photography format and give an entirely new meaning to it. There’s a certain notion of cannibalism to the world of fashion, since a picture that may be considered today as important or groundbreaking can be easily forgotten tomorrow. Moreover, we are living in a moment where being commercial is more important than being creative. That’s why we started painting over our photographs three years ago. It was an attempt to perpetuate the wildfire velocity of fashion and the fast cycle of trends, to find a new
meaning and give eternal life to our pictures. And, in a way, make them more human with the use of our hands, the paintings and everything.
Credit : Jon Kortajarena
SB: Things you love? Things you can’t stand?
H&G: We love the creative process, but love it with a very open perception, no boundaries, let’s see where it goes. We hate limits or when clients or magazines come in with an idea and do not want any input. When someone comes to us, it’s because they want us to leave our stamp on it.
SB: Once you capture your subject, what process is used to metamorphose into an art piece/painting?
H&G: In the past, we have made numerous black and white portraits of celebrities and models. You may feel that you can actually get to know the depicted persons, but the truth is that they are just pictures; you cannot get a glimpse of the real person behind the photo. You have the impression that you know the person because he or she is famous, but, in fact, you don’t know anything about them. Nothing comes out from these pictures, besides the beautiful images of the famous characters. Francis Bacon has said that, “The job of an artist is always to deepen the mystery. Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves, the insects are eating each other; violence is part of life.” That’s why we love the idea of painting over our pictures. our paintings are raw, visceral, and strong. We love the suggestion of breaking the beauty, altering the face and make it almost unrecognizable, trying to show that you don’t know who that person is. As Bacon says, we need to go deep into the essence of the character and show that there is something profound, obscure in all of us. We wanted to give a new soul to our pictures, just play with the opposite of what we see. it’s like a scream, an answer to why we should go deep into the mystery of it all.
SB: Secrets for success in this industry?
H&G: Work hard, with passion, non stop. We learn every day from all of the people that surround us, from the makeup artist to the set designer.
Credit : Martin Gatti & Cristian Hunter
SB: What interests you in relation to the visuality of painting in the digital era?
H&G: We never thought about that. For us, the intervention on the photography will be the same if we do it using Photoshop or any other digital process. For us, it is more interesting the idea of the intervention itself, the idea of creating a new meaning for a photography.
SB: How important is it for you to collaborate with a stylist? A makeup artist? Hairstylist?
H&G: That is everything. For us, it is essential. Our work is totally a team effort. We are nobody without a great stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist. Also, most of them always bring input about actings, photography etc. So it is essential! Our work is a team work!
SB: What are the paradoxes in your work or in the practice of painting?
H&G: The paradox is the idea of doing art in the fashion industry. in the art world, they feel that what we do is not really art because it came from fashion, but we feel that this is something that has no sense.
SB: The market seems saturated with mixed media, how do you differentiate your work from the rest?
H&G: We don’t want to differentiate our work. You can ́t create something trying to be different or successful. We work in something with passion and creativity. We don’t want to be different, we just want to express ourselves.
SB: Do you have an ultimate dream job/client?
H&G: Working with the big names in the industry is always an objective, but honestly, sometimes small clients bring you great projects, so you never know.
SB: What do you enjoy doing in your down time?
H&G: Enjoying life. There are too many great things to learn and explore! The world of fashion is so eclectic and allows inspiration to be found in so many fields.
SB: What love means to you?
H&G: When you fall in love with someone or something, you feel free, a passion without limits.