in conversation with: VICTORIA GONZALEZ GARCIA
Victoria González García is an Argentinian photographer currently based in Madrid. Born in Buenos Aires, she studied Social Communication at the University of Buenos Aires, then went on a student exchange scholarship to the Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain. She specialized in Photography, Film and Political and Social Video at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain and is currently studying through distance learning for a diploma in Social Photography (The Camera as a Tool for Social Research) at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. We interviewed her for The Pictorial List.
When and how did you start getting interested in photography?
Photography was always a part of my life, the Kodak reels and cameras. I remember that when I was little I loved posing for photos, my parents recorded my childhood and that of my sisters, our life, the acts at school, when we lost our first teeth, Christmas, holidays and every episode that marked something important for us or for our family. At 21 years old, I started to get interested in the photographic world and decided to start studying, so my parents gave me my first analog reflex camera as a support and incentive.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find it in life, in everyday life, in what surrounds me. But I am also restless and curious, it motivates me to learn new things all the time, whether it is discovering photographers, getting to know their work and careers, watching documentaries about photographic projects, knowing the history behind them, going to exhibitions, festivals, meeting people of that world and exchanging concerns. Trying new things, getting out of my comfort zone, shooting and giving myself up to the mere process of creation.
Who are your favourite artists/photographers?
Saying I have a favorite artist or photographer would be a lie. I like many. For example, William Klein, Vivian Maier, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus, Sara Facio, Paz Errazuriz, Adriana Lestido, Marcos López, Chema Madoz, Man Ray, etc., the list would be endless!
Who do you think has mostly influenced your style?
I cannot say that only one has influenced my style, I think all of them have, and even some that I have not named above. Both photography, painting and cinema have set a precedent for me and have forged my style.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
Yes, my style has changed a lot since the first time, for sure it will continue to change and I like thinking that it will, it motivates me, because it will mean that I have evolved, that I have learned and internalized those changes.
Do you have a favourite genre of photography?
I am very interested in the social, the documentary, and of course this is due to my social training. I want my camera to be a tool that helps me to visualize stories that can raise awareness or at least leave people thinking about some issues, be they social, political, cultural or ideological.
"Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to hit it." (Bertolt Brecht)
Do you have a favourite place to shoot?
No, I have no favorite places, all places can be great. I think more what defines it is not the place itself, but the connection with what you are photographing and what is generated around that relationship.
Do you have a preferred camera/lens/focal length?
I have two favorite cameras, my digital camera and my analog camera that has a 50mm lens which I usually use in my digital camera, exploiting all the artistic possibilities that it can offer me.
What characteristics do you think you need to become a good photographer? Any tips or advice for someone just starting out?
I think you can have the best camera in the world, but if you don't have a good eye, you don't have anything. I feel that the best advice I can give to those who are just beginning in the art world of painting with light, is to practice, to shoot a lot, to investigate, to study, that if something does not turn out as you would like, do not be discouraged, keep going, practicing. At least that's what I keep doing.
A phrase that I say a lot when asked about this is "practice makes perfect".
Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?
No, never, the artistic world was always there and I was on the opposite side of the road, contemplating those things, from different fields that fascinated me.
Are there any special projects you are currently working on?
Yes, I am presenting "intervenidas", my first photographic and illustrated project carried out collectively among women that was born during the quarantine. It is a small series of my photos, which I sent to six women illustrators of different nationalities, so that without parameters or prior artistic criteria, they would “intervene” in them, trying to cross styles and two disciplines, photography and digital illustration.
When I´m not out photographing, I...
...I am thinking of the next photo I want to take."