let there be light
There is a never never land of unending lines. Its located in the mind of Sinziana Velicescu. On the streets of her synapses there are brights, bold as brights. There are objects, living like humans: emotional, complex and contradictory. In this land she lives unafraid, in this land she chases light, she is its committed explorer.
c.: Tell me about your feelings with light and lines?
Sinziana Velicescu: Me and light have an interesting relationship, I didn’t start appreciating light until about a year and a half ago or two. Before two years ago, I was taking photos of the same thing but not paying attention to light. I wanted everything to be gloomy and overcast. I thought light was getting in the way and I wanted everything to be clean. Somehow I’m just learning to appreciate the light.
c.: I feel the same away about design; I’m appreciating it, noticing its place within the spaces that I’m in. And, it is everywhere. How did you start noticing light where you could appreciate it?
s.v.: When I first graduated, I’d lived in L.A. my whole life. I wanted to move away and experience something else and weather. Everyday I would go shoot when it was an overcast day. Eventually I began to embrace the light in Los Angeles, realizing there was something special about the light in L.A. and it was a light that wasn’t anywhere else. It’s not like the like in New York or Chicago – there’s little light there, and its sharp, the buildings are high and it cuts the light. You’re always chasing light. In L.A. there’s an abundance of it.
c.: What are you chasing?
s.: The quality of light is very powerful and it’s right here. I’m looking for things where there’s not a lot going on, so that the light can just have its effect – where it’s just the object and the light.
c.: Light feels like a character for you, not necessarily a person, but a body with the attributes of a person. Can you talk about that for me?
s.z.: I do focus on the story that can be told. Subject matter can tell a story and be a character even though they aren’t humans. I look at buildings as if they have these timelines. This building was once this and now its this.
c.: Its like multiple lives.
s.z.: Yes. They have secrets inside them and they house them. Buildings can mask what’s happening inside and outside. And in L.A. buildings change so fast, there’s always a new building – it was orange yesterday and blue now, and it’s a T-Mobile ad. It goes through so many changes, we rarely have time to stop and look at it. I’m trying to take time to focus on these things.
c.: How do you know when you’ve come upon something that’s right, for you?
s.v.: I don’t know if that’s something that you can explain. I’ve been going deeper to abstract these things. I go back for more – the abstract with a longer lens and I’m now seeing the world through this. Its like, this is my square; I have to adapt things to this way of looking, to see things. I need what I shoot to be a certain way. It has to be compositionally perfect.
s.v.: I use to go a lot when my boyfriend lived in the arts district. I’d always look and say it would be awesome to be there. They were The Novel Cafe at one point and then became Groundworks again. Cheyenne of Art Share asked if I knew anyone could put a show up and it happened pretty fast.
c.: Serendipitous! How did you decide what you wanted to show?
s.v.: It was super last minute since someone else fell through so, I showed some things I had framed from a previous show, about the right angle geometrical abstraction its from a series called On The Periphery.
c.: Lets talk about On The Periphery. I love that title!
s.v.: It started when I first picked up a camera when I was 18, I started photographing my neighborhood, it was my moms camera and I said I might as well photograph something. I’m doing now what I was doing then, but more focused. Because I’ve been doing it so long, I think that’s why I’m more focused.
My perspective has matured but it was always about these overlooked details in and around the neighborhood. A lot of time here is spent in the car and you’re always in a hurry, you never notice what’s going on outside the window. After spending time outside the car, these are the things you notice, in between destinations.
s.v.: To appreciate more about L.A. I had to step out of my comfort zone to places less frequented and explore them. Everyday I learn something new about L.A. even the places I keep going to time and time again. The periphery doesn’t necessarily mean on the edge, but those spaces in between.
c.: Tell me more.
s.v.: Like Hollywood Boulevard it sucks, but ignore the sh&$^y environment, and notice something else about this place and see it from a different perspective. You’re not a tourist but you are, if you can look at it in certain way and appreciate its weirdness and history. There’s still that kind of thing where you have to look hard enough.
c.: Given that people come to the coffee shop and if they look, they can see art if its present, what do you think about art in the coffee shop?
s.v.: If its a coffee shop, or if it’s a museum, it should be curated. The problem is, a lot of coffee shops aren’t well curated. Even if the art doesn’t fit with my taste, it should work with the design of the space.
Art in the coffee shop, for those looking for a home away from home, that art makes them feel at home. Galleries can be so esoteric and cliquey. This, [the coffee shop] works outside of that. There are not as many rules and you don’t have to adhere to trends. I can go to a coffee shop and it is purely aesthetic.
She likes aesthetics.
c.: What inspires your process?
s.v.: I’m not one that spends a lot of time in coffee shops I probably should because I never work at home. I use the coffee shop to get my drink [ today a matcha latte] literally to function in life, when I’m not at work, I come in, get my matcha latte first and then I can move on with my day. I’m moved by beautiful music; I love dancing, there is a visual aspect to music when I hear it. And, I direct music videos on the side, interpreting music visually, I love that.
s.v.: When I do my photo stuff its alone. I am distracted by other people’s presence and I like to go at my own pace, I’ll spend twenty minutes exploring this one wall.
c.: How often do you go somewhere and not have a destination?
s.v.: Often. I like to go without having an a-to-b, you have chance encounters, and you just might fall onto something.
To see more of Ms. Velicescu’s work, visit here.