Analogue photographer Ignacio Kirby describes his work as the "images of the unconscious". With his masterful use of the double exposure technique, he transforms reality into hazy, dreamlike scenes. Flowers and feminine figures blend into one; the familiar becomes otherworldly. In his surreal style, there are no mistakes, only happy accidents.
Hello Ignacio! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I am 27 years old and a father of a seven-year-old little girl. I am a photographer of everyday alchemical things.
I live in a city called San Juan (on the mountain) far from the Lomography Embassy Store located in Buenos Aires. I have a Holga, Fisheye, and Spinner 360. I am also a lover of the Lomography Color Negative F²/400 (for day) and Lomography Color Negative 800 (for night). It's very difficult for me to get the film I'm used to working with since I have to buy them in Buenos Aires and the price is 18 times more expensive. The economic situation in Argentina is complex.
But despite this, I do not stop investing or working 100% of my day on this. I own a photography shop along with a group of friends. We have been on the market for three years, and have spent one year at our own store. Our products are handmade and include outstanding scrapbooks, photo books and photo printing in classic vintage formats. Our growth is constant and the result of much effort.
Also, I've just finished the edition of three books that I am about to release. One is about a vision of the woman, Lilith, another is about music photography, and the last one is about pure images of my unconscious.
When did you begin to consider yourself as a photographer?
My first photos were of my friends my daughter. It was something that did not feel like a job. Even though today I work as a photographer, I always find it difficult to consider myself as one. Then I discovered that I am not simply a photographer; I feel like a communicator, an intermediary, always curious, an observer. And my work is like that of an alchemist who transforms the ethereal into matter, the intangible into concrete.
If you could whip up a category solely for your photographs, what would it be?
Images of the unconscious. Sounds a lot like surrealism, isn't it?
Where do you draw inspiration from?
What inspires me most is experimentation. Musicians, painters, photographers, poets, or people who do not fall into a single category, in a single genre. People who are accustomed to keep creating themselves all the time using the mixture, the re-use. In another word, the crazy ones: Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Chris Marker, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Frusciante to name a few.
Your focus is mainly on portraiture. Have you always enjoyed photographing people more than other subjects?
I am fascinated with observing the human being in any activity, however mundane or extraordinary.
Your work extensively uses experimental techniques, most notably double exposure. What role does it play in translating your creative vision into photographs?
Double exposure is a technique I love. It helps me a lot to translate an idea or feeling. I think of a texture, color, feeling and try to mix it to get the final image.
How do you plan for a shoot? Do you prefer having an image in mind before shooting? Or are you the type who goes with the flow?
First the image in the mind and then in the film. But other times I like to shoot a whole film roll first with a concept and then reload it and shoot again with something else in mind. That completely random result gives me a some beautiful results.
Do you have a favorite image that you've taken? What makes it stand out for you?
The most beautiful photo is the one I'm about to make, Cartier! But seriously, this picture of my daughter is one of my favorites. The balance, the purity in her gaze hypnotizes me. She is my teacher.
Any artists that you look up to?
Previously I named well-known artists but I would like to name others that I admire and follow on a daily basis: Edie Sunday, Ellen Rogers, Samantha Muljat, Ryan Muirhead, Fer Juaristi, Neil Krug, Adi Putra, Polina Washington, and Gus Cortes.
Do not limit yourself to the formulas, categories, styles, schools, theories, trends. Try and experience what you feel with what you have. Whatever you want to be, you already are.
All images and information in this article were provided by Ignacio Kirby to Lomography and were used here with permission. To see more of his photographs, head to his Instagram account.