Leticia Valdes | Buenos Aires

Hello, Leticia, thanks for submitting your work. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and when did you first become interested in photography?
Hello, I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I have a degree in film studies. I first become interested in photography, when I was thirteen. In the beginning, I captured objects and tried to present them as realistic as I could. Little by little I developed my interest in more abstract dreamlike images.

I've always been very much interested in black and white photography and influenced by artists like Horacio Coppola, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Josef Sudek and Edward Weston. Years ago I took lessons at Rosa Revsin’s studio. She taught me about the concepts of the aesthetics of photography, as well as the history and fundamentals. Rodolfo Lozano and his “fotografía creativa” workshop polished my visual training. Both artists helped me to learn the fundamentals of photography. 

When you started with photography you experimented a lot with analogue cameras. Nowadays you prefer shooting digital? Do you think digital photography gives you more possibilities to express your art?
I don’t actually prefer one over the other. The digital format just allows me to check immediately the pictures and gives me the possibility to produce a certain set of images.

From time to time I work with analogue cameras and experiment with older modes of productions like cyanotype, wet collodion and pinhole photography...

Let ́s talk about your submitted project “MARCAS DE AGUA”. These images are very powerful. How did you come up with the idea?
Generally, I don’t go out and hunt for pictures -  I find them. They reveal to me like secrets. The choice of objects or places doesn’t depend on me. It’s rather the result of chances. “MARCAS DE AGUA” was created during a short trip to the coastal shore of Buenos Aires.

When you work on a project like “MARCAS DE AGUA” – do you have a special workflow?
I try to make my process intuitive. My creativity gets blocked when I am under time pressure or if I have too many requirements or restrictions. Everything develops - it may take years or just a few moments. The key is not to hurry and not to expect immediate results or magical solutions.

Besides your work as an independent photographer, you work as a curator. What are you looking for when you curate work of other artists?
I love working with artists. When I curate work of an artist I am not just looking for great artwork - I also try to imagine the reaction of the audience. I want to create an "experience", starting from designing the space and the people who visit the exhibit.

Tell us a little bit about the photography scene in Buenos Aires. Are there any female photographers you could recommend?
Buenos Aires is a great place for artists. Many artists are looking for new genres and formats of expression. Every day new creative networks are starting in neighbourhoods, becoming research labs and ending up in fantastic different projects. People are working hand in hand to participate in exhibition biennales, forums and fairs. 

Sara Facio, Alicia D'Amico or Annemarie Heinrich are role models to young female artist. Currently, Adriana Lestido is an important Argentine photographer who captures pictures of the daily life revealing the characteristics of human relationships. Other great female artists in the Argentinian scene are Florencia Blanco, Estela Izuel and Helen Zout.

How do you see your photography evolving over the next years?
I currently can’t imagine a direction. But I know, that I will follow a path of experimentation, continuous self- improvement, constant exchanges with other artists, and communication with absolute freedom.