In conversation with Laurent Castellani
In the realm of artistry, some individuals possess a unique ability to transcend boundaries and redefine artistic norms.
Laurent Castellani, a photographer and artist of exceptional talent, is one such visionary. In this insightful interview, we embark on a journey through Laurent’s artistic evolution, his diverse sources of inspiration, and the profound impact of his work in the world of NFT art.
When was your first interaction with Photography?
I find it difficult to remember, but I would say it was around the age of 12 or 13 when I saw Robert Doisneau’s photo ‘The Kiss’ in a shop in La Rochelle as a poster. I was a big cinephile and mostly looking for movie posters. But this photo seemed so much more real to me. A genuine moment of life, not a staged one. It left an impression on me, but I didn’t realize it immediately. In fact, I don’t take black and white photos, and I create my shots from scratch.
What is your source of inspiration?
Everything, I don’t have one in particular; music often evokes images for me. I recreate them a bit without even realizing it. I try to capture the real moment of the one I create. My director’s soul probably takes over.
Could you tell me more about your aesthetic choices?
I’m agoraphobic, so I can’t travel or rely on real settings, so I shoot in isolation with natural light. My aesthetics are born from macro-photography and my relationship with space. I almost always reframe my photos. My style is defined by framing. I love architecture and clean paintings, so I remove everything unnecessary to the image in the framing; I’ve made it my signature and style.
Which was the moment you knew photography was your career?
When I started receiving orders and realized that time was passing, it was time to make a living from a passion rather than doing it in the evenings and on weekends.
What concepts do you want to portray to the world through your pieces?
The beauty of macrophotography of portraits. Showing that in a confined space, beauty can be found everywhere.
What do the close frames of your style express to the audience?
My fear of space, even if they don’t know it. It’s not something I mention systematically without having a problem talking about it. It’s my weakness but also my strength.
Which has been your favorite project till date and why?
NFTs without a doubt, because I discovered that people were interested in my photos. I didn’t have that pretension or the idea that it could be the case. I mean, creating advertising visuals for clients was my job. But collectors taught me that my art can live on its own without being attached to a brand or a product. It was my best experience and revelation about myself and my art.
What do you think is an exciting trend right now that will last an impression?
Generative art combined with AI, coding, not at all what I do, but I have a project in mind for that.
Could you please explain your approach to interdisciplinary artforms. How do you bridge the gap between these fields effectively?
For me, it’s about surrounding myself with people from different backgrounds and converging synergies to create art. That’s what I’m trying to do right now. It’s easy for a developer to write code and generate an image, but they don’t know what to create. An artist knows but doesn’t have my knowledge; by working together, we can create interesting things and explore untapped areas that offer a multitude of possibilities. You have to surround yourself and work as a team.
What does your creative process look like?
I see an image I want to reproduce in my own way or hear music on which I imagine a scene, so I want to recreate it. I will make the effort to achieve it. It’s quite instinctive.
Do you ever have creative blocks? If yes, what do you do about them?
Yes, of course! You have to step back and stop thinking about it. It has to come naturally. So, I know I’m ready to be creative again, definitely don’t insist.
What interested you to get into the NFT space?
I don’t travel, and I’m agoraphobic, so NFTs were created for me. Undoubtedly.
How do you feel about the NFT/Crypto ecosystem right now?
The NFT ecosystem is suffering artistically, psychologically, and financially. The tech is being questioned by the “masses” and defended by enthusiasts who, like me, are ready to go down with the ship. Are we crazy? Maybe a little. But we are crazy together and have a vision that we hope most people will share someday on a massive scale.
How do you spend your downtime?
I’ve had many setbacks; I’ve been a freelancer for 20 years, so I know how to handle them. I move on to something else. I have a lot of self-confidence and a strong ability to adapt. You have to be resilient, a chameleon, formidable, and know how to make choices before it’s too late. Don’t let yourself be discouraged, let your instinct speak. Not everyone has that in them. That’s why people need to find their place and do what’s right for them.
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Globally famous, of course, haha. But beyond that, I hope to surprise myself and be proud of myself. I’m more focused on the present moment. Projecting 10 years into our world is utopian; everything changes too quickly. I think in just the past three years, I’ve had to adapt my vision about ten times. Once again, be agile, adapt. Our world is moving way too fast. If you project yourself 10 years ahead, there’s a very good chance you’ll be wrong.
What are you currently working on? What’s next?
I’m trying to transform my art into a more contemporary art through the mix of synergies. I’m waiting for the result that will make me say, ‘Okay, I’ve succeeded, this is my style.’ I can’t say too much, but even I’m looking for something I can’t explain until I’ve created it. I know the recipe more or less, but not the result. And then, exhibit it. Despite years of work, I’m still searching for myself. We’ll see after. Oh, i’m preparing a drop of an open-edition on NEO Blockchain’s marketplace, Megaoasis!