The unifying thread which initially attracted me to Hugo-Victor Solomon’s work is the honesty and candidness of his portraits.
Hugo, initially hailing from Seattle, Washington, now lives in Montreal, Canada where he produces affective photographs with a focus on pictures. To clarify, affect can be thought of as emotions or subjective experience.
Hugo began photography in 2016. He had actually a heavily documented youth with both moms and dads taking lots of images of Hugo and his brother or sisters. He has a “photographic memory”– in the sense that photographs function as significance and have a specific objective kept in them. Familial documentary images serve as a sort of repository for emotional energies. Or as the photo theorist Roland Barthes might put it, there is a particular punctum stored within these images.
His childhood developed an interest in documentary-style portraiture. When he eventually got his very first video camera, which was coincidentally his sis’s old cam, he might lastly articulate visual language in a way that his electronic camera phone at the time could not. He started taking a growing number of images.
I love taking pictures of my buddies … doing photos for other people.
Hugo mentions that he has a difficult time in social scenarios.
I’m too shy to contribute. I’m really neurodivergent. I very much battle in social situations. I experience autism-spectrum disorder, to name a few conditions. It manifests as severe social anxiety.
With an electronic camera, however, he is able to better connect to people. Through photography, he can contribute to social settings as well as much better understand others. He admits that he views and stares– always looking and searching for something.
Being both queer and neurodivergent makes his work both very queer and tender– there is a particular concentrate on the self and self-portraiture. All photography is a kind of self-portraiture: the most genuine images bring an element of the professional photographers’ essence and what they saw. To elaborate, he highlights that photographers who see designs as strictly bodies and professional photographers who see their own bodies as unimportant does not feel best to him. He feels that artists and designs and topics and muse are all interchangeable and everyone needs to have the ability to not restrict or segregate these elements of the self. Don’t label or presume yourself in the ‘wrong’ way. This is how creatives have run generally, but it shouldn’t be by doing this. It does not have to be by doing this.
I’ve constantly photographed in a way where I instruct the subjects I picture to move fluidly. I find beauty in the in-between micro-expressions that individuals have or that bit of affect that is there and then it’s gone.
In contrast to this, Hugo strictly works from present to position and won’t move up until he knows what his next pose is. He does not pre-plan poses as such and lets them take place spontaneously during the photographic occasion. There is so much to everyone that is not within our control. So by working in this way, he hybridizes positioning by managing the position however letting each position occur naturally. It’s a push and pull of permitting an area of openness that is ideal for him and works for him.
Furthermore, much of his work, especially his self-portraits use nudity as a tool.
It’s ok. I’m vulnerable. Are you?
Hugo incites that self-portraiture, especially naked self-portraiture, is a terrific method to connect with the self as a means of self-actualization. It’s not a lot that you’ll be a better person if you make self-portraits, however rather the act of turning the electronic camera on the self will set you on that path. To clarify, it’s truly not about the last image or what you make, but rather the actual process of making.
In a manner, self-portraiture is a method to surface all the perfections of your own body– but likewise the flaws. And after that just sort of analyzing all this and discovering to accept it. What do you like about your body? What do not you like about your body? It is what it is.
Typically dealing with location comes with a set of intrinsic obstacles. He provides the guidance to get a tripod if you do intend on developing self-portraits. It’s truly bothersome to do it without a tripod. He’s done self-portraits in mountains and jungles, wheat fields, and literal snowstorms. The point is to be in these locations and to actually be within the landscape. There is indexical paperwork of being within a location and utilizing that as an extension of truth.
You need to be honest with yourself. What is in your head translates to the image.
I would say 99% of my images are in the moment because I have a cam and I see something that I want to take an image of.
It’s really frustrating to produce art often where audiences aren’t trying to look strictly to the surface. Or attempt to see the immaterial behind the material. That is to say, art is the expression of nuance and frequently individuals do not take the time to value several point of views. An image isn’t simply what remains in the picture, but rather sits within a certain context. There may be things that aren’t visible within the frame or may have occurred given that the time of the image being photographed which still impart in the image a qualitative context.
That is to state, it might be an image of something– however it’s not strictly simply an image of that thing. There is more to it than what is revealed within the frame.
Art needs you to make room within yourself to value something else.
A picture of water or a lake is a photo of water or a lake. However separately, it may have a particular affect or psychological action that it may generate in the viewer. So if you have actually had a family holiday by a lake or had a great or bad experience with water, then a picture of that thing may make you feel (or possibly even think) of those things or occasions.
Images supplied by Hugo-Victor Solomon. Used with authorization.