The photographer’s eye is a sophisticated tool, that sometimes builds worlds before shooting and some others during the shooting.
Tom Vack, author of some of the most elegant and “built” shots for the world of design, has recently created a special collection with Ester Pirotta. Here he shows “the other side” of his photographic world, the one made in the moment or by chance. It is OpenEye, and can be found on the web where photography lovers can buy the works, or better, the moments captured by Tom Vack and Ester Pirotta.
Tom, after spending years on still life “designed” pictures for international design companies, recently you have approached to “spontaneus” and “captured” pictures. How did the studio experience – a quite claustrophobic one – influence your vision on the ‘out of doors’? Actually ‘out of doors’ influenced my work in the studio, because I have always tried to re-create, artificially, the natural light that I have seen in certain moments. For examples, light filtered by the clouds or through the leaves of the trees, or reflected in the water. Therefore I can say that taking pictures outside of the studio, for what became OPenEYe collection, was to return to my early sources of inspiration for light. Concerning the point of view of the composition, OPenEye pictures are based on the logic of ‘taking pictures ’ that is different than ‘making pictures’ necessary for shooting in a studio, where you have to think, build and acquire what you want to shoot.
Through the direct sale of your pictures, for the first time, you get in touch directly with people and their own private rooms. You became in some ways their “eye on the world”. How do you approach this new role? I think of these pictures like windows through which people can see a few pages of a big book that is the world, continuosly changing, caught in a specific and unique moment. I love thinking that people can watch these images and discover more and more details, an aesthetic composition that shows itself in a multifaced way, that can only be fully appreciated in their actual dimensions (the smallest ones are 130×130 cm and the biggest 260×130 cm, even if the images are printable in different size on demand).
OpenEye record started first from a selection of thousands of images, to end up around 200 photos. What criteria did it drive you in the selection? “Sometimes you take a picture and sometimes the picture takes you”, I mean that the selection was long (because of the huge number of pictures gathered from the last 6 years) but effortless, almost spontaneous. Ester and I have chosen the pictures that most fascinated us, because of the place, the moment or the compostion.
We were not searching for ‘postcards’ pictures, but for images charged with a kind of beauty, a significant power that fascinated us, sometimes unexplainably. I am a photographer who began my studies in architecture and Ester is an architect who chose architecture over photography for her studies; our aesthetic sensibility is similar even if it does not always get us to the same point of view, because there is a very strong subjective component in the perception of what our eyes see.
Abstracts, Architextures, Black&White, Life, Reflections and Structures: could you point out just one picture to represent each one of the OpenEye categories? OPenEYe is a container of stories, varied and purposely different, so it is difficult to choose a picture that represents each category, also because we defined six categories in order to orient the view of the images but in some case a picture can be placed in more than one category, having more than one feature. Therefore the concept of OPenEye is not completely representable in a few images but it is necessary to read it as a whole. For that reason we decide to have a slideshow at the overture of our website, with all the images that come in succession without respecting the categories, but simply showing different visual incentives and beauties. This is the sense of the collection. To choose one picture for each category can only represent a taste in order to encourage people to discover all the images gathered in this big container continuously updated.
Ester Pirotta and Tom Vack are jointed by their passion for photography: she is an architect, he is a professional photographer. Together, after years of shared experiences, they have created the OPenEYe collection.