Interview with Etienne Zerah
a)I’m Etienne Zerah; Etienne is an art name and Zerah is my real surname, that has mixed origins: jewish, tunisian, french, but I am Italian born and bred. I am currently living in a multiethnic district of Berlin and I came from
a)Sure, I attended the
q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?
a)I was born I a small town and grown up in the country, I used to play in the woods during my childhood, for this reason I have a close relationship with nature; reacting to this I’m very fascinated by tecnology and the possibilities that it can give, so I think you can find a mix of these elements in my works.
I’m glad to have found this mix in the city where I live, so this can keep on influencing me as I like.
a)I’m influenced by daily facts, by news and gossips, whatever I see in the world or in the streets that hits me or annoys me, it can be a real fact or a sensation in the air; so after thinking a lot, I reach an image in my mind, that only after several shoots, tests and changes, becomes the definitive work.
At the end I just need to express my point of view.
a)Basically it’s a research of the visual impact and equilibrium in the images. I think these are the factors to get the objective beauty in a visual work.
q) What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?
a)Video, surely. I’ve already tried to do something, but I need more time and I think I still have to actualize many ideas with photography before…maybe I will start with video when I will be tired of photography!
But sincerely I don't know, i'm used to live at the time and follow my instict about art.
a)There is not a specific time, I simply like to have time, because I know when I start, but I have no idea when I can finish; sometimes I can spend a lot of hours working on a image, during the day, the night and the day after again without any pause.
Usually I need some day to complete a work, but it’s happened that I needed months, too.
q) What are your artistic influences?...and …generally who or what influences you the most?
a)I was born as painter and i've always studied paintings, so this started to influence me, the colors and materiality of a painting, like Expressionism for example. About the subjects, the Renaissance had a strong influence during my studies. Now I feel to be influenced by the images I see around me, I like advertisings images, billboards, music and movie covers.
q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?
a)When i began to photograph, my first guru was Robert Mapplethorpe because of the lights use and of the human subjects. Currently i can say that my favourite artists are
q) What is your next project? Exhibition? Collaboration?
a)The current work in progress is a series of avatars of myself, a collection of selfportraits more or less reworked, where the images are strictly connected with my being and where I can see my face change in the time.
After this, my next project will involve other models and it will be about fetish attitudes and looks in Tom of
q) What are your plans for the future?
a)Sincerely I live from day by day and react to what happens, so my plans can change, if I have them; anyway, in the future I would like to work with medias.
q) Are there some web sites that You would like to recomend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?
a)I can share my favourite artists homepages:
q) What sort of music do you listen to?
a)Music is very important for me, I always listen to music, especially working on pictures; I love electronic, alternative and experimental music…I think is the same as for art: I feel attracted by new stuff, by the researches, by the experiments to find something new, fresh and on the same wave of our contemporary time.
q) Do you collect anything? If so what?
a)Yes, I collect music of course; I have a very big collection of Björk’s material and a lot of cd and lp from other artists. When I was young I collected sugar sachets and leaves.
q) What do you do for fun?
a)Hey, this is a personale question!
Anyway, I like to spend time with my friends of course, but I also love to be alone, maybe in the nature, to woods or lakes with my camera and mp3 player. I like to watch movies and to travel.
And usually i have fun watching people in the metro.
a)I don’t think to be yet in the position to give advices!
Right now I can say to experiment and test many things to find the right ones and don’t be shy to show what one really thinks.
q) Your contacts…
a)You can find everything on www.etiennezerah.com, also my Facebook account and the qualified galeries.