Our eighty ninth interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented photographer and artist Mary Lorincz from Walnut Creek, California, United States. You may know Lorincz from her popular Instagram account @ms.divination. For Lorincz taking the photograph is only half the work. I imagine that she spends the same, if not more time on her post processing. Within her portraiture she loves deep and extensive areas of sepia and or black and in some cases the background is minimised or eliminated entirely to give greater emphasis to the sitter’s face. Some of the faces are also masked though as if concealment offers a new perspective to humanity, perhaps humanity is what we see. Enjoy!
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Wahlberg, Andrea Bigiarini, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş, MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe),John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk, Rita Tipunina, Violet Martins, Nizzar Ben Chekroune, Lynette Sheppard, Paul-Andre Hamel, Rejane Rubino, Susan Detroy, Rosalie Heller, Wayman Stairs, Cintia Malhotra, Anita Elle, Juta Jazz, Cheryl Tarrant, Hanni König Kaoru Shintaku David Gilbert Jana Curcio and myself, go here.
All images ©Mary Lorincz
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
To be a librarian and surround myself with books. For me, they represented an escape from reality and provided the gateway to a world beyond my reach.
I was a teen when I picked up my first camera, an old 35 mm that had belonged to my father. I was instantly hooked. Never wanting to be ordinary, I began experimenting with different films and techniques. I recreated David’s “The Death of Marat” and hand coloured the image. It won 1st prize at a local photography competition.
My first real job was working as a temp in New York. It was part time work that allowed me to continue going to school. My most interesting assignment was in the 20th Century Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum. I was sent there for an afternoon and stayed on for 7 years – exactly how long it took me to finish my degree.
Private or state school?
Both. My family moved around quite a lot so my school experiences were inconsistent and rather extreme. One year I was attending public middle school in one of the rougher neighbourhoods of the Bronx. The next, I found myself at a private all-girls catholic high school in New York. Both experiences were traumatic, but in different ways.
University or work?
Again both. I was determined to become the first person in my family to earn a college degree. I had something to prove. My family could not help financially, so I had to make my own way. I never gave up on my dream. It took 7 years, but I eventually succeeded.
Who was or still is your mentor?
I was never fortunate enough to have a mentor in my life. I had to piece things together on my own. I’ve been lucky to know many people who have encouraged and supported me along the way.
How physically fit are you?
I would call myself a work-in-progress. I’m probably more fit now that I’ve ever been in my life. Walking is one of my pleasures and I do it often. I’ve experienced the Camino twice, and hope to go back again.
Ambition or talent what matters more to success?
It depends on one’s definition of success. It cannot be defined by any external measures. True success is the ability to control that narrative, and define it on your own terms, and in your own way.
How politically committed are you ?
I consider myself committed, but not necessarily political. I care deeply about the issues of our day and make an effort to stay informed.
What would you like to own but don’t currently possess?
I gave up my darkroom many years ago. If I could have it back, I think I would really enjoy pursuing my interest in Alternative Photographic Processes.
What is your biggest extravagance?
I would have to say travel. In my head, I’m always planning the next trip. The anticipation of seeing a place for the first time, learning something about it’s history and culture, is everything to me.
In which place are you happiest?
I’ve always tried to create a space that is just my own. A sanctuary of sorts where I am surrounded by beautiful things I’ve collected over the years – objects, photos, books and images that speak to me. This is my happy place.
What ambitions do you still have?
My ambition in life is to enjoy what I do and surround myself with the people I value and love.
What drives you on?
My mortality. A keen awareness of whatever time I have left, and an intense desire to honor it in a meaningful way.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Finding my voice and learning how to make myself happy.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
Hypocrisy, Greed, Cruelty and Intolerance.
If your twenty year old self could see you now, what would she think?
She would find me unrecognisable. I could never picture any future for myself at that age. I’ve wasted many years along the way, but I think now she would be very proud.
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?
My father’s camera – the only possession he left me after he died. It was stolen from me at knifepoint. I still wish I could have it back.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
Acknowledging the destruction of our environment and changing how we live before it’s too late.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
I’m still debating that question. I have no religious attachments, but it’s hard to imagine that we simply cease to exist.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
I would give myself an 8. I’m pretty satisfied with life, but there’s always room for improvement.
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