"I am where emotions are, and if they are not there, I create them." Adrian Nojek
1. What inspired you to create art and become an photographer ? (events, feelings, experiences...)
In 2019, I came to a realization that it was time for me to fully embrace my love for art. As my fortieth birthday approached, I made the decision to return to my first artistic love, sculpting. But, as I delved deeper into the medium, I found that it no longer provided the freedom of expression I was seeking. In search of a new medium to express myself, I discovered photography and it has been my medium of choice ever since.
2. What is your artistic background, the techniques and subjects you have experimented with so far?
I received my fine arts degree in sculpture at a young age and had a promising start in the art world. However, due to personal reasons, I stepped away from my artistic pursuits for 20 years. But, 4 years ago I found my way back to art through photography, rekindling my passion and reigniting my creativity.
3. What are the 3 aspects that differentiate you from other artists, making your work unique?
My perspective: I have a keen eye for capturing unique and interesting perspectives, which allows me to create images that stand out from the typical compositions seen in photography. I strive to find new and creative ways to frame my subjects, whether it's by shooting from a low and wide angle, using reflections or incorporating foreground elements.
My attention to detail: I am meticulous about capturing every detail in my images, which gives my work a level of realism and authenticity that sets it apart. I pay close attention to the smallest details in my composition, such as the texture of the subject, the patterns in the background, and the way the light falls on the scene.
My personal touch: I infuse my work with my own personal style and vision, which makes my images unique and identifiable. I believe that my images should reflect my own perspective and feelings, and I strive to create images that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also emotionally resonant. I also like to experiment with different techniques and editing styles, which allows me to create images that are truly one-of-a-kind.
During my photo shoots, I only take one shot from each angle and do not retake any photos. In post-production, I do not crop the images.
Overall, I believe that these three aspects: perspective, attention to detail, and personal touch, distinguish my work from that of other photographers, and make my images unique, captivating, and meaningful.
4. Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from a variety of sources. I often find inspiration in the people I photograph and their unique stories and experiences. I am also inspired by the work of painters ,sculptors and photographers. I find inspiration in the natural world and in the human condition. I am also influenced by current events and social issues, which often find their way into my photographs. I find that my inspiration evolves over time and it is important to keep an open mind and be open to new ideas, perspectives, and inspiration that comes from various sources.
I believe that inspiration is all around us, and it is up to us to find it and use it to create meaningful and impactful photographs
What is your artistic approach? What visions, sensations or feelings do you want to evoke in the viewer?
My artistic approach is to create evocative and thought-provoking images that elicit a range of emotions and reactions in the viewer. My work often centers around the human form and its expressive capabilities, and I strive to capture the essence of my subjects through the use of composition, lighting, and post-processing techniques.
My goal is to create photographs that tell a story and evoke feelings of empathy, connection and understanding. I want my images to be powerful, thought-provoking, and to spark a conversation. I am interested in exploring human emotions, vulnerability, and identity. My photographs aim to connect with the viewer on a deeper level, to make them feel something, to make them see something in a different way or to question their own perception of the world.
I try to achieve this by experimenting with different techniques and styles, playing with light and shadow, and by using post-processing to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. I want to create an emotional connection with the viewer, to provoke a response and to make them think beyond the surface.
6. What is the process of creating your works? Spontaneous or with a long preparatory process (technical, inspiration from art classics or other)?
My process for creating my works can vary depending on the specific project or series I am working on. However, in general, my process often includes a combination of both spontaneous and planned elements.
I like to be inspired by art classics, and I also like to look at other photographers' work, but I don't follow those inspiration in a slavish way. I like to take inspiration and make it my own. Before a photoshoot, I usually have a general idea of the concept or theme that I want to explore and the emotions and feelings that I want to evoke in the viewer. I then spend time researching and gathering reference materials to help inform my creative choices.
Once I have a clear vision in mind, I spend time scouting for locations and models, and I also like to work with a creative team, stylists, and makeup artists to achieve the desired result. Once the photoshoot begins, I am open to spontaneous moments and capturing the unexpected. I believe that those unplanned moments can add an element of realism and authenticity to the final image.
After the shoot, I spend a considerable amount of time in post-processing, where I fine-tune and adjust the lighting, and play with the colors to achieve the desired mood and atmosphere. I try to find the right balance between spontaneity and planning, and I believe that by taking a thoughtful and considered approach to each step of the process.
I love the traditional methods of film photography. I take great care in the development of my film, using traditional methods and chemicals to create my negatives. Once the negatives have been developed, I scan them and make any necessary adjustments to the digital files. I then use these files to create high-quality prints, which are a true representation of my original vision.
I believe that the use of traditional film and my own darkroom work gives my images a unique quality and character that cannot be replicated digitally. The natural grain and variations in tonality that are inherent in film photography give my images a sense of warmth and depth that is difficult to achieve with digital methods.
I also take great care in the printing process, using only the highest-quality papers and inks to ensure that my prints are of the highest quality. I believe that the final print is the ultimate expression of my art, and I take great pride in producing prints that are true to the original image.
Overall, I am committed to the traditional methods of film photography and the use of my own darkroom work to create high-quality, one-of-a-kind images.
7. Are there any innovative aspects in your work? Can you tell us which ones?
I strive to push the boundaries of analog photography by incorporating innovative techniques and ideas into my work. One of the most innovative aspects of my work is my use of controversial subject matter. I am known for photographing people in a way that challenges societal norms and conventions. I believe that by doing this, it evokes an emotional response from the viewer, which creates a deeper engagement with the image.
Furthermore, I am constantly experimenting with new ways of presenting my images, such as using alternative printing techniques, and working with different materials to create a multidimensional aspect in my prints.
Finally, I believe that the use of analog photography in a digital age is a form of innovation, as it allows me to create images that have a distinct look and feel that is difficult to replicate digitally. I am always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of my art and create a truly unique and unforgettable experience for the viewer.
8. Do you have a format or medium that you are most comfortable with? if yes, why ?
I prefer to use medium format cameras as it gives me more control over the final image and allows me to create larger prints. The larger negative size and the ability to control depth of field and perspective, gives me the ability to create a more detailed and nuanced image.
9. Where do you produce your works? At home, in a shared workshop or in your own workshop? And in this space, how do you organize your creative work?
I m taking photos both in the studio and on location. I find that the energy and vibrancy of the city provides a perfect backdrop for my controversial and thought-provoking imagery. I like to capture the movement and dynamism of the city and its inhabitants, as it gives me a sense of immediacy and urgency in my work. I also take advantage of the unique architectural elements and natural light that the city offers.
My studio is also a private space where I can work in peace and quiet and have a controlled environment for my shoots. I can set up my equipment, test different lighting setups and have access to a variety of backdrops and props.
10. Does your work lead you to travel to meet new collectors, for fairs or exhibitions? If so, what does it bring you?
I have dedicated a significant amount of my time to creating art and I am now focused on taking the next step in my career by building connections with galleries and art dealers. I am actively seeking opportunities for collaboration and showcasing my work to a wider audience.
11. How do you imagine the evolution of your work and your career as an artist in the future?
I imagine the evolution of my work and my career as an artist in the future will involve continued experimentation and growth.
I plan to continue exploring the medium of film photography, experimenting with different techniques and styles to push the boundaries of what is possible with this medium. I also plan to continue exploring controversial and thought-provoking themes in my work, as I believe that this is what sets my work apart and resonates with my audience.
I also plan to expand my reach and showcase my work to a wider audience. I hope to participate in more international art fairs and exhibitions and to have my work featured in galleries and museums around the world.
12. What is the theme, style or technique of your latest artistic production?
As I often say to my students at my photography workshops "I am where emotions are, and if they are not there, I create them."
My latest artistic production focuses on exploring the theme of human identity and individuality. Through my photographs, I aim to capture the unique emotions, expressions and characteristics of People.
I use a combination of candid and posed shots to capture my subjects in their natural environments, and also in studio settings, to create a visual narrative that reflects the diversity and complexity of human experience.
I work primarily with black and white film and use a variety of techniques to create a sense of depth and movement in my images.
I also experiment with different lighting techniques to create a sense of mood and atmosphere in my images. I often use natural light, but also incorporate artificial light sources, such as flash and studio lighting, to create a sense of drama and contrast.
In terms of style, I often use a high contrast and grainy style. This gives my photographs a sense of timelessness and nostalgia, which I believe is fitting for the themes I explore.
13. If you could have created a famous work in the history of art, which one would you choose?
"Reclining Nude" by Amedeo Modigliani
14. If you could invite one famous artist (dead or alive) to dinner, who would it be? How would you suggest he spend the evening?
There are many famous artists throughout history who have made significant influence to my art world. Some notable artists for me could be Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Helmut Newton , and Peter Lindbergh to name a few.
If I could spend an evening for one of these artists, it could involve discussing their works and artistic process, visiting with them an art museum or gallery to view their works in person, and possibly even collaborating on a quick project or photo-shoot. It would also be an opportunity for a photographer like you to learn from the masters. and pick their brain on how they approach their work and how you can improve my own photography.