There is something intensely romantic about Roger Guetta and his imagery. One of the finest mobile artists in the world today, Guetta is a painter of the mysteries of perception and being. His vision, accurately understood, is one of the most liberating ever created in mobile art.
This is our new interview section for mobile photographers and mobile artists and we hope to be filling it very soon with vast explosions of thought and imagery. These questions are designed to explore the artist behind the work, to get to know them a little more intimately.
We recently published our first ‘Brought to Light’ Interview with Andrea Bigiarini, Founder of the New Era Museum and FIPA Florence International Photography Awards as well as writer, author, Imagineer and digital artist, if you missed that, please go here. We then went on to publish an instinctively gifted artist, Ile Mont, if you missed that please go here.
Today we are delighted to publish our third ‘Brought To Light’ Interview, this time with 64 year old Guetta. He tells me for 47 of those years he has involved himself in painting, writing, film making, acting, directing in theatre and film, photography and teaching.
Describe a moment that changed your life
I was 17 years old, travelling around Europe after a year of boring economic studies at university. Economics, only because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what to do with my life.
I was visiting all the major museums and found myself fascinated by artists and their visions. One day in Florence, I entered a space which housed a very long hallway. I walked it and at its end I was confronted by the most spectacular object I have ever encountered.
It’s not that I hadn’t been exposed to magnificence before. I was born in Cairo, so the Pyramids…. duh! My family left during the Suez crises and landed in Paris before emigrating to Canada. We stayed for six months so I had the chance to experience the Eiffel Tower…duh! I remember feeling a tingle or two, even a ripple of goose bumps but nothing prepared me for what I saw at the end of that hallway.
To use the phrases of my (60’s) generation….. It blew my mind, it socked it to me, I was having an out of body experience (and I wasn’t even high.) When I finally found my bearings, Roger left the building, bought a sketch book and some pencils and began to draw for the first time. He, that is… I… returned to Montréal, switched my major from Economics to Fine Arts.
The rest is history. A beautiful and sumptuous life in the arts and academia.
‘Endless’ – ©Roger Guetta
Describe a childhood photographic/art memory
I remember sitting in a grade school art session with an assortment of mischief makers. One kid was trying to get our attention by scribbling, then turning the page around and scribbling again. He drew dirty pictures, trees, stick figures, always showing us his new creations before turning the paper around or crumpling it up. At the end we all handed in our projects. The next day the teacher reached for his work and spent half an hour praising this kid’s work. At each new point the teacher made about the kid’s creativity, he waved at us with one goofy grin on his mug. I learned plenty that day, which I employed only years later. Go figure!
‘Woman Waiting’ – ©Roger Guetta
Describe your mobile studio
It comes in two sizes. The iPhone 5 size and the Mini size.
They play music for me while I work and when I touch their screen they respond quite amicably. They are most effective after a good charge and least collegiate when left in the sun for too long.They abhour water and the Mini’s gold back impresses.
‘XPortrait’ – ©Roger Guetta
What do you like to think about whilst creating images?
I’m in the throws of decision making. One thing leads to another. Because I am more of a post production kind of guy, I think a few steps ahead most of the time. For example, I create textures by blending, I think of how colour and light can be manipulated to create something interesting. Then I search out images within my Camera Roll and a sort of cut up begins. The image begins to speak to me and things change. I think; Do I want to follow this change or be stubborn. I think: Dude… man up… decide already. So I consult the iching …. No wait… I’m kidding… I check my chakras and sip on tepid tea….no, that’s not it. I have a hissy fit, calm down and usually I’m good to go. So you see, much internal dialogue goes on.
Actually to be serious for a moment, I allow my mind to be quiet, so it’s not as much ‘thinking’ as it is flow-inking (see… I can’t be serious for even a moment).
‘Contemplating The Effect of Marigolds Disguised as Dandelions’ – ©Roger Guetta
Share one mobile photography/art tip
The more you experiment, the more you will lose weight, have healthy skin, sleep well, accumulate wealth and understand how teenagers think.
‘The Gypsy’ – ©Roger Guetta
What or who ignited your passion for mobile photography/art?
What; When I realised that I could create at a café, waiting in line, on my sofa, while on my inversion device, I knew that my new love was mobile love.
‘Rêve Byzantine’ – ©Roger Guetta
What is the most unusual subject you have photographed/painted?
Photography: I have yet to photograph any one unusual subject that stands out in my mind. I do however take pride in having an eye for the ‘interesting’ so that I can later blend, superimpose or mash up to create something truly ‘unusual.’
Painted: At one time in my career I was dripping diluted oil paints onto a trough of water to create phantasmagoric swirls and then transfer them onto silk scarves and/or paper. It was my take on the ancient art of marbleising. I once convinced a bald friend of mine to gesso his head, then dip and marbleise it. He walked around for quite a while with it and I think ( I apologize in advance) it helped him get laid.
‘Sunset’ – ©Roger Guetta
What are your favourite mobile photography accessories?
My big ass external charger. It’ll top up my devices 3 or 4 times on one 24 hrs charge. Most of my other accessories or toys are mostly used for a bit, then gather dust along with my DSLR and water pic.
‘The Infidel’s Wife’ – ©Roger Guetta
Who would play you in a film of your life?
The young me: Colin Ferrell
The older me: Sean Connery
‘Lip Service’ – ©Roger Guetta
Do you have a favourite app?
Image Blender, no contest!
‘Mademoiselle De Paree’ – ©Roger Guetta
Describe your dream mobile photography/art assignment
Maybe collaborate with Bob Dylan to create images for his more iconic works. Create a book of this with the help of Alejandro Jodorowsky, then do a world wide book tour, make a mill and retire.
‘Time Twin’ – ©Roger Guetta