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‘Brought to Light’ – Mobile Photography / Art Interview with Christine O Sobczak from Wisconsin, United States

Our ‘Brought to Light‘ interview section explores the mobile photographers and mobile artists behind their art. Each question has been carefully crafted and is designed to allow us to get to know them a little more intimately. To view others that we have published in this series, please go here.

Today, we are featuring Christine O Sobczak, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. O Sobczak is an incredibly talented mobile photographer and artist. Unlike many mobile artists whom I feel I have met, but have not, I can happily reveal that I have met O Sobczak and spent time with her and as I write up this interview, that memory warms me and I have a huge smile on my face.

Two years ago, O Sobczak came to England, she had a stop over at a port which I knew was not far from the New Forest, an area in England that I adore. So, I drove down to meet her and it was beautiful. We shared dinner, with my daughter and her husband and then I took them for a short drive into the New Forest, hoping to find and show them the wild ponies that wander around. So, it is against this backdrop, knowing I have the advantage of more intimate knowledge of this very elegant and talented artist that I can write with confidence here.

O Sobczak has reinvented the form by following her instincts, her work is deeply visceral and personal, it is exquisite in its delicate intimacy and reflective. O Sobczak is such a centred presence and also in contrast, impulsive. It is this mix of energy and excitement that shows through in her flamboyant art. One of the best ways to appreciate O Sobczak’s art is by following a carefully crafted series of work, as we are showing here within this interview. This series of her work merges documentary and fine art, finding a new way of looking at our world and beyond, she’s breaking the rules and influencing the direction and style of mobile art.  She puts one foot into an unconscious world, as she evokes a parallel universe, she has experienced before. This is heightened documentary fine art, one where atmosphere and mystery are key elements.

To view more of her work, please go here.

This body of work drew us to Christine O Sobczak…

All photos ©Christine Sobczak


Describe a moment that changed your life

There are many larger, and more beautiful moments in my personal life. But, I will narrow this to an art moment. In the nineties, I had just finished my four year art degree. Just before that happened, I sent an image of a single safety pin to a contest in New York. It was a silver print, in which, the safety pin had been hand colored to reflect the color of gold (completely minimalistic). I was warned that I should not have payed to enter the contest. Months later, I received a call from a top advertisement agency in the US. They wanted to see my portfolio. They had seen that image and wanted to see more. However, I did not have a portfolio at that time. As I had randomly decided to pursue a degree in art, after already having a degree in nursing, this was a wonderful affirmation of my decision.


Describe a childhood photographic/art memory

I really do not have a photographic art memory in childhood. When I entered the university art school, I was petrified because I did not have any background in art. I just had a desire to explore it. I fell in love with photography because of the darkroom’s : dripping water, solitude and magic.

Describe your mobile studio

I once had an actual art studio in an old warehouse. I hand colored my silver prints there.

I hatched many ideas and products in that tidy, little space. The rent was raised and I had to give the space up. Now, I work at my kitchen’s raised counter top with my iPad and smartphone.

What do you like to think about whilst you are creating images

Sometimes I put music on from Spotify or my iTunes collection. Many times I just work in silence because of my complete concentration on the images.

Share one photo tip

If you are creating personal, independent work (not from a site), create your own theme. However, do not be discouraged if your theme is completely changed when you start working on it. Images like to take on a life of their own. And, many times, it is much more interesting than what you had envisioned. So, just “Let it go”🎼

Who or what ignited your passion for mobile photography

I left the darkroom because it was becoming extinct (I so loved it). My nature is impulsive and I did not think that Photoshop would work for me. I honestly can’t remember exactly how it happened. However, it started with an interview by Joanne with Daniel Berman. I then hustled to figure out how to go on Joanne’s FLCKR site. I then found Roger Guetta’s abstract site on Facebook..It all grew from there.

What is the most unusual subject you have photographed

I guess I would just go back to that little safety pin story from question number one. It was the most mundane, and humbled image that led to an amazing phone call.

What are your favourite accessories for mobile photography

I use my android smartphone, natural lighting, iPad Pro, APPs, and no other accoutrements.

Describe your dream Photography assignment

I would love to have plethora of unique human beings who would love to be photographed …. and would have no issues with how they were imaged in my artwork.

What does Mobile Photography /Art mean to you?

Mobile photography is a completely new way of creating images through the use of applications. It has so many possibilities that it can overwhelm. As a painter with a canvas, one has to learn the tools to become a professional…or one can just have fun and release some tension. Our social network is unique to the artwork…It is like being in school, learning from one another, and being connected to the whole planet of image makers. It will not disappear but, continue to develop and grow as the world becomes more digital and beyond digital.

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]

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