1981 Navarra, Spain
Seeking Magazine: How was your first contact with photography? When you realized you couldn’t stop shooting?
Mikel Aramendia: The reason why I used a camera for the first time was graffiti. We used to do graffiti and used the camera to document our work and others. It was a practical solution. Also that is the reason why I like to explore places in the limits of urban areas.
SM: I think that you love documenting your travels to the mountain, is a necessity or photography and the mountain goes together in your life?
MA: Both passions weren’t born together. In the mountain photography is just for fun, the mountain always goes before the photo.
SM: What things inspire your work? Which photographers are your influence?
MA: I’m a bit bad with names, but I never forget the images. From the godfathers: William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld, Robert Frank, etc. More recent: Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky, Florian Maier-Aichen, etc. It is fair to say that on Flickr there is more than enough quality and inspiration.
SM: In your series ‘Nearby Places’ you are able to make the mundane attractive and beautiful. You were looking for that or it was a spontaneous result?
MA: 50/50. Those places are close to me, geographically and figuratively. I have to say that right now is a little mess.
SM: In ‘NYC Corners’ you go further, you submerge in the corners of the more emblematic neighborhoods of New York sharing a vision completely different from what people expects of this city. What do you wanted to convey in this series?
MA: It was spontaneous, I took the first photo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelaramendia/3480139261/sizes/l/in/set-72157617396166152/) of a corner that unconsciously got my attention. A few days later that photo got my attention and I started taking photos of corners. What I think that my subconscious grabbed was the fact that concrete and cement finish everything, defining an space for transit and human life. That’s the reason for the saying, every corner in NY is fascinating…
SM: With ‘Gardening Ideas’ you break the mold introducing the viewer in intimate and disturbing places presented by another photo within. Did you intentionally put each of the photographs present in the composition?
MA: It is disturbing for me too. It was improvised, I found the photos exploring a building next to a flower nursery which was going to be demolished. I organized them on the floor and took the photos, those are from gardening works made by the workers, in some of them they are present too.
SM: The night is something that apparently obsesses you. When you are going out for a night session, do you follow any patterns or take the same equipment with you?
MA: I don’t think is my obsession, at least for the time being. When I do night photography, I have a clear destination and standard equipment, although in the end most of the photos aren’t spontaneous. I have always used digital, but I would like to get a 6×7 film camera. (I accept offers…)
SM: Are you looking for a defined style in your work? How would you define it?
MA: I can’t speak of a defined style or technique, it could be said that I even ignore it. I think that you evolve in each photo, the transformation is constant. I’m more interested in the subject than the image. To be more precise, I’m interested in the invisible relations between civilization and nature, also on the configuration and topography of modern landscape.
SM: What are your plans for the future? Are you thinking about doing an exhibition of your series?
MA: I rather do some work with more photographers. Those synergies are far more productive.
SM: Where do you see yourself in 10 years, will you keep shooting?
MA: Don’t know, time will tell…
Mikel Aramendia on Flickr.
Copyright © Mikel Aramendia, All rights reserved. This photographs are not to be used as free stock.