Lars photography is brilliant, gifted and spooky at the same time, a series of dramatic photos, where he sets up complex and extremely accurate in-house or outdoor scenes with a meticulous arrangement, his photos stand there to tell surreal stories filled with a mysterious and disturbing symbolism.
Lars live in Northern Denmark with her girlfriend and their 5-months-old son. He works full time as occupational therapist in the field of psychiatry beside his passion in photography and visual art.
Interview with Fine Art & Dark Beauty Photographer Lars V.Andersen.
FG: You are a self-taught photographer, when and how did your passion for photography start?
Lars V. Andersen: I have had low end cameras since I was a school boy and have taken pictures since then, without thinking about what I was doing and how it looked. I guess I documented without knowing it. Maybe I was inspired by my dad who have always documented our famiy life. I bought my first DSLR in 2011 and got more interested in the actual craft of photography. Approximately 3 years ago I found my niche in the dark art, e.g. my dark portraits and that is my main thing now.
FG: If you should tell someone the story of your life, from where would you start?
Lars V. Andersen: I would start when my mom and dad met each other for the first time at a dance, a summer night back in 1967.
FG: Why do you cover faces or replace them with other’s heads in your pictures?
Lars V. Andersen: I hope to evoke emotions with my pictures. The human face is telling a lot about the state of mind that we are in and I like to hide it, so that the viewer need to think deeper about what they are seeing. Is the person with the hidden face sad, angry, happy? What is this I’m looking at? I hope that makes sense. There is also some mystique in a masked person. There is a reason why horror movies with masked serial killers are creepy to most people and why Halloween are cool for kids.
FG: Which is the best advice you got as a photographer?
Lars V. Andersen: Do the work! If you want to be better, you need to put in the work. No one wakes up in the morning and is suddenly good at something. Find knowledge and inspiration on the internet, at workshops, by reading or asking other photographers for advise. I guess that 90% of my knowhow is found on YouTube and by creating ideas, shooting, doing post and so on over and over again. Also: Be true to yourself. Make the kind of pictures (or art in general) YOU want and not what other people think you should do. Don’t be afraid of what other people might or might not think about your style. If you like it, do it. Be true to your style. I can’t really remember if I got these advise from someone else, but they are the best I can give!
FG: Which is the most provocative/courageous/original action you made as a photographer?
Lars V. Andersen: I don’t think that I’m provocative, but I do use my own mind and experiences in my life when I make pictures. Anxiety is a dark passenger which is always with me and many of my pictures has anxiety and distress as a theme. I have been told that’s courageous, but I don’t know if it is. It’s hard to be truly original as an artist (is it even possible in 2018?!) but I try to be original by using my own mind as influence. Other people must judge if I’m original or not.
FG: Can you mention an artist, artwork or series of art projects that particularly influenced/inspired you in you work as a photographer?
Lars V. Andersen: Most of my inspiration comes from within. From my own mind. My mind can be pretty dark, as some might have guessed! I also get a lot of my inspiration from simply watching the world around me, watching the news and by hearing stories about life and different cultures. I also love watching movies and Tv shows like Hannibal and The Handmaid’s Tale which are both dark beauty on film. Photographers who inspire me… hmm… Gregory Crewdson’s universe is breathtaking and his style is something I have had in mind in some of my own pictures. He uses a big scene in his pictures and I love that. I love wide angle and use it a lot myself and shoots with wide angle works well if I want to capture a big scene. Another influence is the Danish war photographer Jan Grarup, who photo document horrific situations and make the pictures sad, dark and beautiful at the same time. I’m a big fan of him.
FG: How have your style, practice and techniques evolved over the years?
Lars V. Andersen: 3-4 years ago I took pictures of everything, but now the dark portraits (and some heavy metal photography) are my main thing. My style has definitely gone darker and more personal over the last few years. I use my own story and thoughts about society in my pictures now. In the beginning I mainly shot models and once in while I got help from a make-up artist. But now I mostly use myself or my girlfriend as a model. I like to work alone, more now than ever before, but sometimes I like shooting models just to shake things up or if I need a surden look for a picture I have in mind. I usually think about an idea for weeks and months, before the actual shoot. I write down notes about themes, locations and so on every day – I am not a fast creator, but I always have 3-5 ideas waiting to be planned further into details. Some ideas end up being made, some will never see the light of day.
FG: Choose three words to describe your work.
Lars V. Andersen: Dark, Thoughtful and honest.
FG: Do you have a favourite quote or motto you often think about?
Lars V. Andersen: I often (daily) use the Danish word “videre!” which means “move on!”I use it because I don’t like to dwell about things which is done, uncontrollable or in other ways, are what they are. I will much rather either find a solution to solve the problem or just move on to something I actually can control.
FG: What do you need to feel happy?
Lars V. Andersen: I need love. I have never thought about that before I was asked this question! But I do need love from either girlfriend, family, friends and so on, to feel truly happy. I prefer love from all of them! I guess that is not the dark and mysterious answer you could expect, ahah. I also think that it is very important to feel fulfilled if you want to be truly happy. The hard job is to find out what makes you feel fulfilled. I’m learning this as I go.
Courtesy Pics. Lars V. Andersen.
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