Larry Woodmann held a career seemingly distant from the world of photography, which saw him working in senior positions for major international brands. This did however lead him to live abroad for long periods of time, providing him with the material and inspiration to undertake work in photo reportage. It was only from 2012, however, that photography became a real “second life” for Woodmann, comprised of roadside documentary across America, and his impressions of life on the streets of Milan, his permanent home. Woodmann has won mutliple awards, and his worked with professional models across prominent publications such as Photo Vogue, Italy. He was awarded the international prize “Black & White” by Get Inspired magazine, and participated in the exhibition Gli Eclettici – Fame di vita at Expo 2015. We interview the photographer.
A: You have lived in Milan for the past 18 years. How has the city influenced your photography over the years?
LW: I began to discover Milan photographically at a later stage, having previously been busy with my work as a business executive. At last I began to notice a lot of life in a city that at first sight appears in some ways a bit austere and hidden. I then enjoyed exploring some of the secrets of the life of its people, as a kind of observer of The Lives of Others (a film that I loved very much). More even than being influenced by Milan, I would say that my photography is very much inspired by the cinema. In this sense, I find Milan to be a very cinematic city.
A: What has been your most memorable photoshoot?
LW: As in love: the first is never forgotten. But in reality my journey for three weeks along Route 66 probably constitutes the photographic series that gave me, if not the best shots, definitely my most important work from a certain point of view. Those photographs also made me known to the general public, and they were the subject of a major exhibition during the Expo 2015 held recently in Milan.
A: How would you describe your style of photography?
LW: This is the hardest question, because often I wonder and I am never able to give myself an answer. My photography is born largely from my own life experience: my travels, my chance encounters, my daily life. It is definitely like the narrative of a film, where at times you feel the presence of the protagonist, while at others the narrative takes abstract references and icons from the experience of others. Especially artistic experiences: cinema, painting and literature from the turn of the previous century to the present have been a great influence.
A: You have worked with and photographed many individuals over the years, what in particular do you look for in a model?
LW: I like to answer with a quote from Salvador Dali: “I do not paint a portrait that resembles the model, rather it is the model that should resemble the portrait.” Here, when I shoot a model, l select a subject that resembles the portrait of a woman in my head at that moment.
Discover more of Larry Woodmann’s work at www.larrywoodmann.net.
To see his listing in the Artists’ Directory in Issue 68 of Aesthetica Magazine, pick up a copy at www.aestheticamagazine.com.
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1. Larry Woodmann, Route 66, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
2. Larry Woodmann, Milan, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.