Interview of Celeste Ortiz by Sophie Pellegrini
Tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you do!
My name is Celeste Ortiz, I’m from a little seaside town in Chile called San Antonio, and I’m a photographer.
In what way did the place you grew up affect your photography and/or artistic processes?
I think this place affects everyone’s life, seems like getting away from here is the only we can do, sadly, so art can be a escape form, which sounds corny, but it’s true.
Your photos are clearly film, but it also looks like you might do some other alternative processes, is this true? What camera and film do you use?
I use a couple of different cameras but mainly my old Zenit E, I like old expired films but they are hard to find here in Chile, so I use what’s available. Sometimes I use alternative processes, like pushing or pulling, or soak my film in chemicals.
Many of your photographs feature women. Are they self portraits? Who do you most like to feature as the subject on your shots?
Most of my work is self-portrait, that’s what I like to shoot the most, but sometimes I do portraits of girl friends, it’s easier and harder at the same time. I love the feminine figure and what you can represent through it. But in spite of all that, I have nothing against making photos of men, especially if they are musicians! Haha.
To continue off the last question a bit, many of the photographs of women have a feeling of anonymity because they don’t show the woman’s face. Talk to us a little about this, what is your intention?
There wasn’t a premeditated intention in that, but yes, I avoid faces sometimes. I think this is a shyness on my part and from the models too; they aren’t professionals, just friends.
What is something you’re afraid of?
Dying in the middle of street or in a place full of people.
What’s something you wish you had done differently during your teenage years?
I should have looked for friends maybe, and done more artistic things, but that’s past, it doesn’t seem worth regretting what I could have done differently.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be, and why?
Right now I’m fine at home, maybe next week I could go to the Himalayas, there are some cats called pallas that I want to meet.
What other artists do you admire, and why?
I admire my friends because they make me feel happy to have been born in this time and place.
What’s something you did for the first time this year?
An artist residency with a small solo exhibition. 🙂