Large-format photographer and painter Luke Mitchell gives us the low-down on his art and how he came to be a LomoAmigo. Read on for our interview with him as well as his gorgeous photographs taken with the queen of Lomographic cameras – the Diana F+!
Real Name: Luke Mitchell
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you landed the gig of being a LomoAmigo.
Suppose you could call me an early-career artist, maybe. I do mostly paintings and contrived large-format photographs. I’d done a mini-series of medium-format re-creations of Peter Blake and Edward Hopper paintings which were being showcased on Society6, they were doing a collaboration with Lomo to find a new Amigo. I think they must have tasted a bit of ‘Lomo’ in those pictures so they asked me to shoot some stuff with the new Diana.
How long have you been a Lomographer or are you new to this whole thing?
I got well and truly sold the idea of it by a great photographer called Valery Rizzo while I was in New York, that was a couple of years ago now. I come back to it every now and again with a new take on what I want to do. Got to keep the marriage entertaining and all that.
Can you describe the relationship, if possible, between your painting and your large-format photography? Are there any similarities between your process of setting up a shot and a painting and does this offer inspiration for your re-creations?
Each idea could be made in to either I think but there comes a point where I just choose one or the other. Both painting and large-format offer the act of setting something up and allow me to use contrived symbolism to get a message across, the boarders between the two have become very foggy. The same things still influence the content and form, although for me painting lends itself to a more surreal idea, something not seen in level-headed, straight-faced life.
Describe the Diana F+ in five words…
A modern pocket 60’s revivalist
If your gallery had a soundtrack what 3 songs would definitely be on it? (song title & artist please)
- The Cure – High
- Maps – You Don’t Know Her Name
- The Dandy Warhols – Head
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had?
I was in the countryside in Dorset and my good friend Brewer was stood on the edge of a cliff looking out to sea. So I thought it would be a good idea to run up beind him taking pictures as I ran (but looking through the camera made the cliff edge look much further away than it really was) I ran out of film and took the camera away from my face with less than a metre to go. If I hadn’t of run out of film I would probably have run clean off the edge about 10 storeys to my death. So the thing nearly got me killed.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph and why.
There are so many but at the moment that would have to be Brian Jones, even if it was just to hang out with him for a while. He’s one of those diamonds that got taken away far too quick.
If you had your suit case packed, your Diana F+ and a bunch of film, where would the destination on you plane ticket be?
Cuba, I have only been hearing amazing things about it recently and in my eyes is one of the few places around hanging on to its past, its cultural soul and its traditional authenticity. Havana, the cars, the smoke, the colour and the shady undertone. I’ve been hearing great things about Berlin too.
What advice can you give other Diana F+ shooters?
Don’t leave the house without it, you will need it when you least expect it. The flash is super important if the light ain’t all that great. Fortune favours the brave.
Do you have any projects coming up for the summer we should keep an eye out for?
There is always the odd painting in the pipeline but I do have another body of work coming up but its only in the ideas stage at the moment. However I do know that it will be called Sex In The Movies and be staged portraiture.
I’ve been working on something called the Screen Book Tabloid in the past year. Tearing the concert poster apart and filling it with poetic, re-appropriated nostalgia of bright garish wallpaper and organic, personal advertising (bit of a mouthful). It is currently a series of 14 mixed media paintings. One of which, entitled New Orleans, is now availble to purchase as a print or iPhone/iPod skin from the Urban Outfitters Print Shop. More recently I’ve also been designing some t-shirts with Society6 inspired by the Screen Book.