Ivan Bradauskas, stands out in an Instagram crowd. Where some black and white photographs can be flat in tone, depth and engagement, Ivan’s work does quite the opposite. Ivan recently chatted to Beauty In The Aye’s Kathy Muir.
BITA: Instagram is your preferred site for displaying your photography. Your work is mainly monochromatic, shots, often being taken outdoors and during hours of semi darkness, which seems to create a certain kind of mystery.
IB: Hi, Kathy, thanks for featuring me in Beauty In The Aye. In truth, I have never analyzed my work in much detail nor have I talked about it to a great extent. What I can say is that I have always liked taking pictures and have always photographed people on the street, whether or not they are known to me. I find myself often looking for the ‘unusual’.
At the same time I have always liked mystical stories, and realized such stories were found in illustration art or surrealism art. I found my eye was caught when looking at work on various photography sites and would find certain images very curious. Therefore, I decided to explore this genre of photography in greater detail.
BITA: It’s interesting that there seems to be a particular turning point in late December 2014. You had been on Instagram for a year but it is here we see the first ‘trees’ example, a subject that appears often in your later work. Indeed you posted an amazing shot of a girl with an umbrella, in the woods. I would venture to say this style really has become one of your artistic trademarks.
Girl with umbrella
IB: Thank you. You noticed a change in my work a few years ago and asked if there was a turning point. In all honesty, I could not say. I am simply and forever taking photographs and try to explore different creative expressions.
BITA: You have a wonderful ability to take a simple subject and transfer it into something you see in your mind’s eye (e.g. man with umbrella and lantern 20 Dec). In other photographs, you seem to go even one stage further and enter into the realm of surrealism through use of a ‘dragging’ effect (e.g. umbrella image: 6 July 2015).
Man with Umbrella & Lantern
IB: Thanks. I know the kind of picture I want to take as soon as I see it. I then consider applying certain tools. Through this picture I very often try to recreate my dreams, my fantasies, snatches of sensations or visual images that have visited me. I don’t know where they come from: I don’t like like to analyze the art, rather I just follow the flow of my mind and prepare visually to turn something that is ‘impossible’ into ‘possible’, ‘invisible’ into ‘visible’.
Of course, I have my secrets and technical achievements, and almost all I have learned over time to make them my own. I can actually experiment for days, trying different options, again and again. Photo editors I tend to use most often are Mextures, PsTouch, Snapseed, Stackables and DistressedFx. I would not want to limit myself by saying I have any particular style: I like what I see, I take the picture and from there I use certain tools to help shape what I see in my mind’s eye. And what I want to convey.
BITA: You mentioned that you are interested in Pictorialism and Lo-Fi photography
IB: Yes. I really like Pictorialism. I appreciate its spirit and mood. Joseph Nicephore Niepce, Henry Peach Robinson are really great artists, and there are many others. Their works breathe and intrigue me. As I said, I do not aspire to be part of this genre, to specifically create it in my work, but I respect what they have done.
The same is true for Lo-Fi photography, I am very inspired by this movement, this direction in photography, and I love Isa Marcelli. I very much appreciate their work, again although I do not try to emulate it myself.
You can find Ivan here on Instagram.