A SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH JOEL TJINTJELAAR BY NATHAN WIRTH.
I’ve done many interviews in the past for magazines, e-magazines, blogs and so on but if someone would ask me which interview I’m most content with then I would always refer to this interview B&W fine-art photographer Nathan Wirth did with me on his excellent blog Slices of Silence,
It’s not just an interview with Q and A’s in the normal format in a normal time-frame but one that grew over time, over a time of 9 months to be more exact. I think it contains all I have to say about art and photography and my own work and why I do what I do.
You can read this interview here but here are a few quotes from the interview to get an impression:
Nathan: Yes — and it is that attention to light that has always drawn me to your work– especially how deftly you handle its relationship to shadow through the contrasts you yield so beautifully. I can guess for myself that you carefully calculate how you capture light, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on how your process works– from the choices you make before you press the shutter to the choices you make in the digital darkroom.
Joel: First and foremost: I want to create a thing of beauty. Beauty comes first– all the rest is just filler. Unlike many other artists, I am not trying to convey a particular message. Beauty in all its forms, physical or metaphysical, is everywhere and it lights a fire within me, one that makes me want to create things that move both myself and others.
I always try to move one or more steps away from reality. The more you move away from reality, the more you get to the essence of the artist. As an artist moves away from reality, he leaves a representation of things that are not based on the reality of the subject, but, rather, what the artist wants us to see and that only exists in his mind.
When one uses black and white, one already has deliberately moved a single step or more away from reality– and when one leaves that shutter open for as long as a few seconds to many minutes (or hours), one moves away from reality at least one more step, thus getting closer to a more personal vision of reality. I try to step even further away from reality by also molding the light and modifying the tonal relationships: it’s one of the fundamental characteristics of my work … light can be dark and dark can belight. Finally, time, when it comes down to it, is not something visual; rather, it’s both a continuous cumulative experience and a singular one-off experience. Such things are hard to grasp and they intrigue me.