A Sit Down with Photographer and Artist Andrew Morocho
by Alan Winslow – February 8th, 2018
We sat down with Andrew Morocho, a 23-year-old NYC based artist, mixing photographing and other media to explore themes of sexual orientation, and race.
Q: Do you consider yourself an artist or photographer? What got you interested in photography?
A: I consider myself a photographer and an artist. I say this because I’ve begun to incorporate other art mediums in my photographs. For a long time, I didn’t like labeling myself because I felt either confined or secluded like I wasn’t allowed to explore or incorporate any other art mediums in my photographs. I always kept myself busy with different fine art internships and programs when I was younger, but I have a deeper connection to photography and stuck with it.
Q: Where did you study photography?
A: I’m an alumnus of the photography program NYC Salt.
Q: What photographers influence you? Why? Where do you get your inspiration?
A: I’m inspired by the work of photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Richard Avedon because their work is extremely creative yet simplistic. NYC and its creative energy also inspire me.
Q: Tell us a little about your style.
A: I would say my style of portraiture is ever-changing, but something that is always recurring is a sense of peace, whether it’s in use of harmonic colors, layers, and framing. I flow with whatever comes my way and make the best of all the resources available, and make it a point always to challenge myself.
Q: How do you find your subjects?
A: There are so many cons to social media, but the pro that overthrows it all is the ability to connect with others instantly. I’ve met so many beautiful beings on Instagram, and reached out to the ones that inspire me in any way. It’s essential to form a connection with my subject to stay true my vision and art.
Q: Can you discuss the project you’re working on now and the paintings that will accompany them?
A: Frida Kahlo has always inspired me, her use of colors, and how she visually portrayed herself politically, especially me being a Latinx like her. I was initially going to have these be self-portraits, but because I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do today in the USA, this is an empathetic project for my fellow POC. I asked my subjects two questions: What their hands symbolize to them and if they’ve ever felt that something has been taken from them.
The male stated his hands express pride and strength in his roots. He feels people try to take away his confidence. I used the oak tree’s at the top to symbolize strength in confidence, and the roots leading to his fist represent pride in his history and culture.
The female stated her hands symbolize power and the ability to create art. She feels her culture is being stripped away from attending a predominantly white school. She felt ashamed of being latinx, in response to this she started creating bodies of work embracing her roots. I used both Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican plants representing where she’s from, and her hands taking in water while being around the sun represents her nurturing herself through her art.
Q: What is your Acceptance Project?
A: This project was born from me realizing I have been the primary block that has stopped me from reaching my full potential. It’s one of those things I have always known and understood pretty clearly but somehow didn’t actualize it. I finally learned I had to accept and forgive to move forward.
I applied this to every relationship in my life, but most importantly the one with myself. The tears and calmness represent the acceptance of everything as it comes and goes.
The pink represents love and surrounding oneself with it, while the hand casting a shadow on the subject’s face gives a sense of yin and yang, which in this case is a form of acceptance of both masculine and feminine traits. The blue represents fluidity, like water, always changing and moving just like us. And, the flowers represent forgiveness. It’s like a visual letter to myself, reminding me I will be okay.
Q: What is your dream for these projects? How do you want people to see them?
A: Being that I dealt with depression at a young age, I want people to see and understand the control and power we hold within. My dream for these projects is to uplift and help others heal from their pain, understanding they’re not alone. I want viewers to look at my photographs and think about their symbolism and continue creating bodies of work about mental health. Eventually, I love to have them in galleries.
Q: What is your dream for your career?
A: My dream is to continue expanding my bodies of work and creating art that makes people feel something. Art sometimes grows from very dark places, and it is constantly helping me find myself whenever I get lost, I especially want to help others who have been in the similar positions.
Q: How does color affect your photography?
A: Color plays a major role in my photographs because they need to be aesthetically pleasing to me. I like my photos to have a sense of harmony, and I can invoke that with either neutral colors, bright colors, or whatever fits the mood, I feel good.
Q: What is your editing process?
A: I use Lightroom to tone the photos, and photoshop to make all other adjustments. I can sit for hours editing; it’s like meditation to me. The only thing I don’t like is the selection process because of how picky I am. Being a perfectionist is both a pro and a con!
Q: What is your shooting process? What gear do you use?
A: If it is street work, I tend just to walk around. However, in the studio, my work is more conceptual, and I spend more time with the symbolism. To get my subject comfortable I allow them to play whatever music they like so, they can vibe and let loose. I allow things to flow naturally. I don’t want anything forced.
Q: What else do you want to share your work?
A: I just want to help others feel with my art, whatever that may be for them. Most of what I’ve shot so far has been very colorful and peaceful. It’s a great feeling when people come to me and tell me my photographs make them happy.
Learn More About Andrew Morocho:
If you’d like to see more of Andrew’s fantastic work head over to his Instagram account @aamcny or his website. X-Rite is honored to introduce emerging photographer and filmmakers. We are grateful to Andrew for taking the time to talk with us here at the X-Rite Blog.
Remember that proper color management workflow is just important at capture in the studio as it is in the field. Learn more about all the options for color management and find the right solution for you at x-ritephoto.com