The first thing that catches your eyes is the mystery, privacy, and integration with the landscape mixed within another distinguishing feature, the light, a light of sunset, or a cold light, for example. For Spanish photographer, Irene Cruz, born in Madrid in 1987 but now living and working in Berlin, the light plays the main role, which makes her explore and experiment in the countries of Northern Europe. Irene’s photography is deeply influenced by her yearning for Berlin’s landscapes, nature and atmosphere, but it’s also an instrument to capture new and unexplored places and to narrate new stories. Amog her experience she has won several prizes, she has also been awarded by the International platform Elmur.net for the best video art of 2014, and her work has exhibited in more than 250 exhibitions, art fairs and festivals all over the world.
Cristina Benzi: Tell us about you.
Irene Cruz: I am someone who is totally in love with Berlin blue-light-Pantone, someone who moved from Spain because of that. My name is Irene Cruz, and I am a photographer, performer, and video artist, I am fighting hard for a place as an artist in the world, trying to make some sort of gesture or write with light some kind of pathway that actually makes me really happy.
CB: How did you develop your interest in photography?
IC: I am not able to remember myself without a camera in my hands. Since I have memories, Photography has been a very important part of me. I used to travel with my family, and I have always seen my father immortalising moments, printing them, and showing them on our house walls… it was so amazing, I wanted to do the same. And maybe that it is how I discover my vocation.
CB: How would you describe your style?
IC: I always try to capture and transmit through my artwork all this feeling that the natural environment inspires in me. Rarely I show faces in my images, I make my work away from customization to represent universal emotions and feelings. My artwork is about philosophy, mystery, privacy, integration with the landscape… nature is everything.
CB: What gives your ideas and inspires you to create such imagery?
IC: I don’t know exactly where my ideas come from; Berlin, and the experiences that I have here really help on that, it is an amazing city to create. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the imagination that awakens the books that I read, mostly of them, philosophy or sociology, Nietzsche, Simmel, Ritter, Spinoza, Heidelberg, or Sennett are some of my favourites. On other occasions I get inspired by movies, I am especially fascinated by the director Terrance Malick, he is my big reference. I love his way of working, his way of telling stories.
CB: The first photographer that comes to your mind.
IC: Gregory Crewdson
CB: What equipment do you prefer to use?
IC: I have lots of cameras, but normally I shoot with my Nikon D800, and my favourite lens is the 24mm one. I also hold a Fujifilm Instax (instant pictures), an underwater camera… and also the old analogic Nikon FA that my father used when I was a little girl now travels with me.
CB: How important is Photoshop in your final images?
IC: It is not really important, I only use it to develop my photos in a very basic way. In most of my images, I just use the plugin Adobe Camera Raw and that’s all. When I do videos, I edit them with Final Cut colour correction tool.
CB: How do you promote your photos?
IC: Normally I work with different galleries that sell and exhibit them on different places as Art Fairs. On the other hand, I publish my artwork on the Internet very often, I get featured on different online (and printed) magazines and especially I share them on Social Networks like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
CB: How important is an awesome website for your business?
IC: A good website is essential. Personally, mine works as my full portfolio, I can access it whenever I want, I try to keep it always updated. A good website is a good CV, an organised window to the world that shares someone’s track history. It is an image of me as an artist, and all my professional information is accessible there.
CB: Among your work, which one is your favourite and why?
IC: I think I have a little predilection for my series “Inner Tales”, I developed it on my first travel to Berlin 5 years ago. It happened in Spindlersfeld. It was like a revelation, Berlin’s blue light came through my eyes, through my lens, and I saw it clearly: that day I decided that I wanted to work as a professional artist, and go as far as I could.
CB: What photography ambitions have you not yet achieved?
IC: I would really love to exhibit my work in galleries as Camera Work, or C/O Berlin… But I have the feeling that my style does not really fit in the Photography tendencies here. My photography is very performative, and here they bit more for a documentary or fashion one.
CB: What did it take you to Berlin?
IC: That blue, isn’t it clear yet? I think in this city art is in every corner, I feel very free to create here. Also making connections with other artists is very easy, and that is something that I really appreciate.
CB: Where do you see your work in 5 years from now?
IC: This is a very difficult question for someone like me that rarely think about my far-off future. Maybe I get crazy and I end up living in a lost town between mountains, deer, and lakes (as long as it has wifi…), or maybe I will be in NYC (who knows if on Brooklyn Bridge or under it). Let’s see! I will keep working for making the situation the best possible.
CB: Which are your following projects?
IC: This week we are inaugurating in Berlin “Instintos Distintos” an exhibition commissioned by Instituto Cervantes Berlín and La Red at Glougauair. During the summer I will work mostly on video art. On August I am planning to improve my skills as VJ and I want to learn some Video-mapping techniques. On September I will be part of the Berlin Art Week, and then I will start travelling again, to participate in Art Fairs in Sweden, Spain, and France as I have written down in my agenda.
Photos courtesy of the artist.