Our one hundredth and fifth interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer Maria Moscoso. Her photography is nonchalant and reticent but it’s also lush. The results are asperous, sparse and also sensual. 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 HalsørPaul 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, Mary Lorincz Amado Ergana, Francesco Sambati, Philip Parsons, Kathryn Garkut Massimo Bortolini Camilla Crescini Francesca Malagoli Sidonie Petit Dirk Fleischmann, Fiona Christian, Alastair Hooley Juliet Morris Lisa Cirenza Nayeem Siddiquee (Jabaz) Efrat Sela Jose Ramon Estrada and myself, go here.
What was your first childhood ambition?
To leave the island in which I grew up if you can call that an ambition. Ever since I can remember I had a sense of not belonging which I thought would be relieved by leaving the narrow confines of my culture. I had been promised that I would be sent abroad for university and specially during high school years I counted the days.
For my parents, intellectual achievement was a prerequisite for approval and love. Since grade school I received recognition for my work getting the best grades and prizes at the end of every school year. During high school years I played volleyball in the school team and was recognized as ‘best player’.
During summers at a drugstore.
Private or state school?
University or work?
My dream came true and I was sent to York for my university studies. After two years I spent a memorable one in Spain and in my last year one semester before graduation I dropped my studies and a new phase of my life started. My work experience has been very diverse and eclectic. I worked my own small organic farm, photographed nude pregnant women, was the manager of the marketing department for a chain of drugstores etc. In my early forties I completed my undergraduate studies and a masters degree in Psychology, studied Archetypal astrology for four years on line from a school in England and used it as a tool in my counseling practice.
Who was or is your mentor?
I lived in London for a year where I took my first photography class. The teacher told me I had an eye. Later in New York I was told the same by teachers but they were not really mentors. In my twenties I worked in a photo lab where the owner was very encouraging and made a bnw poster of one of my photos of a modern dancer in a pose in the air. I still remember the thrill.
How physically fit are you?
I would say very fit. I swim at least five times a week and combine it with a simple yoga routine that I have developed. If I can’t swim I walk but the water is my element. Exercise is very important for my emotional well being. I just need it to feel good.
Ambition or talent? What matters more to success?
To answer properly to that question I would need to write a lot which I don’t like. I did all the writing I was going to do to complete my studies. So briefly I think both. I would also need to define success which for me doesn’t necessarily translate into fame or money.
How politically committed are you?
I’m informed, very aware of what that game is all about and I vote but I don’t like politics.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
Cant think of anything. For the past five years since moving to Miami where I now live (but didn’t come to retire) we (my husband and I ) have been giving away much of the ‘stuff’ we tend to accumulate which we think defines our identity, like books, music, cooking utensils, etc. We now live a more minimal, simple life which I have come to love.
What is your biggest extravagance?
One of the things I love is eating well so I cook a lot and don’t skimp in getting the best quality. Recently I bought the new IPhone and decided to sell my big camera with all my lenses so that I wouldn’t feel too guilty as I had not been using it for quite a while. I had been selling my images mainly for decoration in hotels, offices,homes, etc which could be printed in very large sizes, something I cannot do with the iPhone. But since discovering mobile photography four years ago there’s no turning back for me.
In which places are you happiest?
Anywhere in nature and specially the ocean. Also my home is very important. I have become addicted to been outside during the magic hours specially near the ocean to which I am fortunate to live near by. I have discovered places in which sometimes I am blessed to be totally alone with my dog transforming any negative or sad mood I could have.
What ambitions do you still have?
To keep learning in my areas of interest like psychology, personal development, art, photography etc. I read a lot and listen to podcasts and love to discover interesting thinkers. This is a passion that I share with my partner. One of my recent ones is Alain de Botton which I mention it because I’m sure you know about him as he is the founder of the School of Life in London. His philosophy about love and partnership resonates and validates my thinking. It’s funny because I get these infatuations with new discoveries and start to listen and read everything he has to say, staying late at night and then I can’t sleep, but I get so much energy from the whole process. Also to keep creating in the medium which I have chosen which is now photography and has been since my twenties.
What you drive you on?
Definitely love. I have a son and a daughter and three grandchildren which I want and hope to see become adults.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Being able to free myself from the first relationship of fifteen years. It was one of the most difficult but life changing periods of my life. Seeing my two children grow and become persons with good hearts is the biggest blessing.
What do you find most irritating in other people?
Anything that irritates me considerably in others behaviors is signaling towards a shadow aspect of myself; in some manner it’s in me and I don’t want to see it so I project it outside. This is one of the most fascinating topics which they don’t teach when you study psychology.
If your twenty-‐year’s old self could see you now, what would you think?
For me life is a journey towards wholeness, overcoming difficulties and challenges. She would think there is light and so much growth at the end of the tunnel and would feel very happy.
What object that you have lost do you wish you still had?
Can’t think of anything and I have lost quite a few.
What is the greatest challenge of our time?
I think Greed encompasses all of them.
Do you believe in the afterlife?
I like to speculate about it but don’t particularly believe in any idea. I think I’m more afraid of the idea of eternal life than of death. The mystery of life just keeps expanding the more I look for answers.
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