His native country’s slogan is “Colombia es Pasion” and that’s what comes out in Roberto McCormick’s photography. Light plays a strong role in each shoot giving an air of erotica and mystique to some of his models and a sassy, sexy attitude to others. Angles are wide in his latest work, looking from the ground up, giving the allusion of long legs that go on for eternity and a focus on the shoes.
Born in Colombia’s capital city, Bogota, Roberto studied industrial design before making the decision to take up his camera full time in 2008 instead. His work has been published in fashion advertisement campaigns and papers around Colombia. He recently moved to London for love.
For this week’s London Art Spot, Roberto gives us an eyeful of his erotic photography, talks about how his background in industrial design still influences his work and tells us exactly he means when he mentions his new theme of “wide proportions”.
LLO: How long have you lived in London? Is it your art that has kept you here?
RMc: Its going to be a year in November. I came here because of my wife, so that’s my main reason, but I have to say, I have developed my art 100 times more than in any other part. So I think I have two really good reasons to live in this amazing city.
LLO: Which aspects of London life inspire you creatively?
RMc: Freedom, people from all over the world, mix of everything, you feel like you can create anything. It’s like a necessity to create or the river will take you to some other part. You have to move; you have to think big.
LLO: Your formal training is in Industrial Design in your home country, Colombia. Do you find that this background (both the study and the country where you grew up) has a strong influence on your photography now?
RMc: Every single thought and experience that you have in your life will drive your path some other way, like growing with time. So I have to say yes. Maybe I can say it gave me great a advantage, the advantage of composition, color, framing, structure to design images.
LLO: Do you remember the moment that made you decide you wanted to pursue photography as a career rather than industrial design?
RMc: Yes, I think it’s very clear in my mind – first practical exercise in photography class about properties of light. I was already feeling proud, feeling like a god, I didn’t care what kind of criticism I will get about it, for me my work was a masterpiece. The picture, it’s just a glass burning on fire, long exposure, and a mirror, very different from what I do, but every time I got my images, I have the same feeling; I cannot wait to show them to the world.
LLO: One trait that makes some of your photography quite unique is your use of angle and light. Can you tell us a bit about your approach?
RMc: Everything about photography is about light. You have to draw with light. When I was in class we were taught about the classic and contemporary schemes of lighting, so I know how to do it, and have experiment a lot with it. I just found it BORING, so why not burn the model? Why not let the light with an over exposure eat the model, or maybe the shadow will eat it?
About the angles, I cannot say it was from nothing that it appears. I think and I hope it was kind of an evolution of my work. What I can say is that it started with a shooting where my wife was the model; that shooting triggered it. Was my first “Wide Proportions” a very unique technique? Its not just wide angle lenses, or weird lighting, or a touch of surrealistic feel. For me its “Wide Proportions” meaning huge legs, amazing shoes, sexy, hot, irreverent, erotic, mystic – a sexy fashionable dream.
LLO: Is there a location in London outside of the formal studio environment you’d love to shoot for a day?
RMc: Don’t you think a sexy ballet dancer / model in front of Saint Paul’s Cathedral would be a great pic?
LLO: How do you find your models? Is there a particular model you’d love to work with?
RMc: Models and photographer, and social networks… it’s kind of funny to post a casting call saying “lingerie shoot FHM style”. You will get 100 girls in a day. Put some clothes in the call and it can be 10 times less.
Humm, I like to target models in ballet and fashion/nude. Since I have arrived in London, I have always admired a Czech model – fit, angled face, attitude – just love it. I will shoot her at the end of the month, so let’s hope it will be a great shoot.
LLO: Do you have a muse?
RMc: Woman and dreams. My wife, but shh don’t tell anybody 😉
LLO: Which photo are you most proud of at the moment and why? Share a jpeg?
RMc: I would like to say 2 – Wide Proportions Origin and a sexy, glamorous ballet shoot. Both have what I’m looking for, about angles, great lighting, sexy, huge legs, burn lighting and hard shadows.
LLO: Which other London-based artists do you most admire?
RMc: Fashion photographers Hugh O’Malley, Clair Pepper and Julia Kennedy. They have a great fashion approach.
For more of Roberto’s work, have a look at his site: http://www.robertomccormick.com
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