Photographer Anthony Gerace originally comes from Toronto but has the city of London letting his creative juices flow nowadays. Anthony has a varied body of art-work consisting not only out of photography but also interesting collages. Still both Kaymir and I were completely drawn by the variation in the portraits created by Anthony and asked our questions accordingly. Enjoy this short Q & A with Anthony Gerace!
Could you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Anthony Gerace. I came into art (collage, photography, typography, portraiture…) relatively late, after pursuing a degree in English Literature at the horrible York University, which is composed of mostly awful people. I began making art because I was DJing and needed someone to make posters, and I used to make collages when I was younger. So I just delved into everything. I studied graphic design at the amazing OCADU whose student body is mostly made up of the best people ever—people who stunned me with their kindness and friendship and made my life better just for existing. I recently moved to London, but somehow that’s only made my kinship with Toronto grow. I find myself missing it a lot. I’m not exactly homesick, as I really love it here and the things moving here has afforded me, creatively, have been huge. But Toronto made me, I’ll always have it in me.
Could you tell us something about your approach to portrait photography?
Yeah, one big thing is that I approached it from the beginning in a completely backwards way. When I started photographing people I just did it under neon lights in a classroom at my school, and when I finally began using a real studio I didn’t have flashes, and so used continuous light. I basically did everything wrong, and that’s what formed my aesthetic, if you can call it that. So my approach has always been a bit too rigorous, a bit too much direction, but I find it yields the best results, especially as I normally work with non-professional models. I like portraiture because I find it, or the way I do it, a really easy, quick way to connect with people. I feel close to all of the people I’ve photographed, that we’re friends because I took their picture. It’s a really affirming way of working.
Do you have a favourite portrait, and if so, why?
Yes! I have two. This photo of Nicola and this photo of Julia. Mainly because I was surprised by them. The photo of Nicola was one of the first times I felt like doing portraits was a good thing, and it was one of the first times I could look at them overall and see that I was making progress. The picture of Julia, because I think it’s the best picture I’ve taken, ever. I think it perfectly captures her, or at least her as I know her. I was also convinced the shoot had been a total wash and so seeing that come up on my monitor at four in the morning was such a pleasant surprise. My favourite photos are always the ones I don’t see coming.
What is your gear of choice?
A Hasselblad 500 C/M and a Leica CL that belonged to my father. I always think about him when I’m taking pictures, and find that photography has become a way for us to bond. He was never a professional photographer but would have been had his career not been set before getting into photography, and I think he sees giving me all of his gear as a way for us to connect. And he’s right.
What are your goals for the future?
Lots! So many! I’m prepping a solo show at London’s Beach Gallery for March 23rd. It’s a series of collages called “People Living”. I’m trying to find gallery spaces for other bodies of collage work and I’ve been focussing on that since moving to London. I’m getting back into photographing people, and trying to do more commercial and fashion work. I want to have the same kind of photographic practice I did in Toronto, so I’m starting to photograph more friends as well. So I guess the goal there is to do it more. The goal is always really to live within my ideals, however difficult it is to do, and to stay positive about everything. But yeah: make more work, show it in galleries, have people be affected by it, meet new friends and take their pictures. If you live in London, get at me. I’m around.