Nov 13, 2014

Andrea Bigiarini - Renaissance Man

When I think of a Renaissance man, Andrea Bigiarini comes to mind. Andrea is not only a photographer but also dabbles in other art forms as well including music and writing. On top of his talents he has a wonderful sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously.

What is your name and where do you live?
AB:  My name is Andrea Bigiarini, I live on the App Store but in reality I live in Florence, Italy. 

How did you get started in mobile photography? What device do you use?
AB:  A long time ago, I went to Miami and the 1st iPhone was in the stores so I grabbed one and I started shooting from that day. I mostly use iPad Mini for 3 reasons: Battery life, I have big hands and I don’t have to wear spectacles. Joking aside, I prefer the Mini because I have more control and more space to work.

© Andrea Bigiarini



© Andrea Bigiarini

Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
AB:  Yes. My father was a painter, he was the real artist of the family. I grew up with the smell of turpentine and oil colors, vernissage and discussions (really funny) between him and other painters on the Neo-Divisionist Movement in the sixties at Florence (Vinicio Berti, Rofolfo Marma, Adorno Bonciani and many others that are still in my house with their paintings and in my mind for their humor and vision concerning the shapes of the environment).  I have always loved photography since I was a kid and an old Voigtländer was my first camera - my father gave me a second-hand one. The “iPhone of the 70s” was an Olympus XA - “The Egg”, a tiny camera that I still have. I always had it with me and that’s why I have called it the “iPhone of the 70s”. The best camera is the one that is always with you.

Learning to Paint with My Father
How would you describe your mobile photographic work?
AB:  I don’t have a style or don’t work with a specific one in mind. I love to call myself an “AppTist” rather than an artist. Mobile Photography is strictly related to the power and the resulting look of an app. I consider apps the real revolution. Before, in the “Good Ole Days, not so good", to get the same results you had to have a deep understanding of a program (e.g. Photoshop), a lot of money to spend on the program and the additional plug-ins, and the results were almost never satisfactory. When I say that the apps have completely changed the game I'm referring to the fact that you now have the ability to get results in a few minutes - click, to process and send across the network. Our movement is based on these three components. Describe my work? Difficult question. I try to capture two things: A. is what attracts me chromatically and B. whatever contains any kind of conflict. Conflicts more apparent to those hidden - a story to tell in a single frame.

© Andrea Bigiarini

UPDATE: (Carlos asked this question and I updated the interview to include Andrea's answer)
AB:  As an "Apptist" I buy and use lot of apps but my fav for retouch and the ones I use most are:
ArtRage, Artifact, iColorama, Repix, PhotoViva, Glaze, Superimpose, Handy Photo, Painterly and Decim8. 
For shooting:
90% of the time I shoot in HDR using: VividHDR or Fotor HDR
10% Hipstamatic and 645 PRO.
Other fav camera substitutes are:
LightBoxr, ProCamera, Analog Film and Mattebox where as "norbu56" I have created lots of films.
Retouching/Recalibrating image:
The app number one, the most powerful for me is Instaflash with all the IAP. This is my Swiss Army Knife and secret weapon. Others are Phototoaster and Color Thief.

© Andrea Bigiarini

© Andrea Bigiarini

Tell me about The New Era Museum and how it all started.
The New Era Museum is the result of a lengthy study that I made on one of the most magical and mysterious of our existence: I am speaking of our reality. After writing my book "The Irreality Show" I realized that mobile photography was the perfect tool to look again at the environment from different angles. It's a real act of shamanism: A. Take a detail from the photograph. B. With applications, change the detail of the environment or the environment itself in something closer to the image in your mind, C. Introduce your version of reality to others through sharing on the internet and this is pure magic. "Your picture has the power to improve the reality," this is the mission of the New Era Museum.

 We are continually flooded with images of disasters, sickness, war, famine, poverty and violence and our simple picture has the power to kindle hope in people, especially in young people who sometimes I see as a lot older than me and less "revolutionary". The New Era Museum and the magazine on Flipboard "The Most Wanted Visionaries" represent for me all the pictures I wanted to take and all the pictures that I wanted to create. I am very happy and proud of the fantastic artists that improve my daily quality or reality.

© Andrea Bigiarini

© Andrea Bigiarini

© Andrea Bigiarini

You just launched NEM V-Ex (virtual exhibitions). Please tell me about this exciting new feature.
NEM V-Ex is an idea that we have had for some time together with members of the Artistic Committee of the NEM - real expositions focused on two genres: A. Monographs - exhibitions based on a single artist with a "theme song" that runs through his works. B. Thematic exhibitions of various artists taken by those two huge containers of art that are both NEM Submissions on EyeEm and on Flickr. Tens of thousands of small masterpieces which until now had never found an exact location on the pages of NEM. Now, thanks to the three curators: Patricia Larson, Jane Schultz and Francisco Villareal (which I greet and thank) the images that match the theme of the exhibition - A title like "Alternate Reality" (When I entrust something to a trustee or to a group I always try to keep my distance and leave them free to express their creativity.) The exhibitions of these two categories are, and will be permanent). Currently V-Ex is the home of a beautiful series of photos by Mark Daniels with the title "Dark Structures" - powerful images of black and white with faint vintage touches. I love how Mark grabs the tension of the environment in simple and direct perception. Mark Daniels' "Dark Structure" can be viewed here.

© Andrea Bigiarini

© Andrea Bigiarini

Do you have other plans to expand NEM? If so, what are they?
The New Era Museum is an organism that evolves almost independently. It is a "bootstrap model". We are organizing a series of exhibitions in the area with the help and commitment of all members of the NEM Facebook Group. The first was in Kansas City, curated by two artists and great friends: Gina Costa and Brett Chenoweth. The likes of Meri Walker, Jane Schultz, Armineh Hovanesian that are found together and have continued to create art within the gallery itself. It is difficult to find the words to describe it. "How it feels meeting love", an image by Meri Walker best describes it. So there will be exhibitions in the future and we have many cities on our "To Do List"...Stay tuned

© Andrea Bigiarini

© Andrea Bigiarini

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yes, I want to thank all involved in the movement of mobile photography and all the people like you who dedicate their passion, love and creativity to spreading the powerful wave generated by each image and every article. The Mobile Art Movement is already part of the history of art in this New Digital Renaissance we are experiencing now. Many thanks Geri and thanks to all who devote their lives to try to improve the world through art.

Geri's Note: Below is an album Andrea is working on.




Find Andrea: EyeEm / Website / New Era Museum / Instagram / Flickr

Apps Mentioned:
ArtRage
Artifact (I couldn't locate this one on the App Store)
iColorama
Repix
PhotoViva
Glaze
Superimpose
Handy Photo
Painterly
Decim8
vividHDR
Fotor HDR
Hipstamatic
645 PRO MK III
LightBoxr
ProCamera 8
Analog Film
Mattebox (showing as no longer available in US App Store)
Instaflash
PhotoToaster
Color Thief

16 comments:

  1. I want to thank you Geri for this opportunity to express my works and my scope in this interview. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I is my pleasure Andrea! Thanks for all you do for the mobile art community!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW, Thank you Geri and Andrea for taking the time to do this interview. I really appreciate Andrea's point of view. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're welcome Shawn - Andrea has been a great promoter of the mobile photography community - I am honored to feature him here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great body of work. Is there a list of the apps that you use? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hope Andrea will be checking this for comments. If not I'll ask him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Andrea - There is a question above about the apps you use - hope you can provide an answer for Carlos. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Carlos and thanks.
    As an "Apptist" I buy and use lot of apps but my fav for retouch and the ones I use most are:
    Art rage, Artifact, iColorama, Repix, PhotoViva, Glaze, Superimpose, Handy Photo, Painterly and Decim8.
    For shooting:
    90% of the time I shoot in HDR using: VividHDR or Fotor HDR
    10% Hipstamatic and 645 PRO.

    Other fav camera substitutes are:
    LightBoxr, ProCamera, Analog Film and Mattebox where as "norbu56" I have created lots of films.

    Retouching/Recalibrating image:
    The app number one, the most powerful for me is Instaflash with all the IAP. This is my Swiss Army Knife and secret weapon. Others are Phototoaster and Color Thief.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a fault of iPad spellcheck
    "I realized that mobile photography was the perfect tool to look again at the environment from different angles. It's a real act sciamannino ..." Replace "sciamannino" with shamanism or shamanic art.
    Thanks again Geri

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was wondering about that one! I'll fix it now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great interview! Favourite quote "Introduce your version of reality to others through sharing on the internet and this is pure magic" ... thanks Geri and Andrea ... gonna go grab some apps you've mentioned ... I also love the power of instaflash but never use it but I think I'm going to take a closer look at ... thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am going to update the article and include this as part of it

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have to have another look at Instaflash as well - I used to use it more often.

    ReplyDelete
  14. TY Nanashi. This is an heritage of my father. When I was a kid he comment me the "Sutra of Heart" that, for my opinion, is the essence on how the things works in the Universe. Thanks for commenting.

    ReplyDelete


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