Dance music has always shared a unique relationship with the space it is performed in, with venues such as Printworks and Berghain using converted buildings (an old printing factory and power station) to create hotspots for the biggest names in dance music.
Sinziana Velicescu captures the energy different spaces can create through her photography, which though often minimal, use sharp edges and repeating patterns to establish a mood. We chatted with Sinziana about her work, and the advice she has for other artists.
Your work feels very ‘of the moment’ - do you take time to set up a shot, or is a lot of your work done spontaneously? I work quickly and spontaneously when actually taking the photograph but when it comes to wandering around a neighborhood, I like to take my time and make sure I cover every street, alley, and corner and even going back at different times of day. Despite having a medium format camera, it is small and compact so I can easily carry it anywhere. When photographing, I enjoy walking around a subject to view it from various angles and distances before I take a shot. What do you look for when taking photographs; are there certain characteristics or shapes that you’re drawn to? I’m interested in finding new shapes, lines, and even “realities” created by existing and more obvious subject matter using careful framing and playing with perspective. For example, taking the corner of an ornamental detail on the side of an otherwise forgettable or even unattractive strip mall and turning it into an abstract form with either many dimensions or no dimensions at all. How do you edit your photographs - are there any themes you try to create throughout your work? I’m lucky that I don’t have to do much color correction because I shoot film and every film stock has it’s own look. Once the image is scanned, I will add a bit of contrast and crop in slightly because my rangefinder camera doesn’t have the most accurate frame. If needed, I will do some perspective straightening to get the lines straight.
Are there any artists that inspire you?
I love the work of Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Man Ray, I’m really inspired by painting and love surrealism, cubism, abstract expressionism, color field and even the darker side of renaissance painting for its mastery of lighting and perspective. I’m also inspired by and frequently explore modernist, brutalist, and postmodern architecture (good and bad). In the realm of photography, I’ve always loved Lewis Baltz, William Eggleston, Fred Herzog, Eugene Atget, Larry Sultan, and Joel Sternfeld. What advice would you give to others pursuing a career through creative media? Keep practicing until you’re actually good at what you’re doing and understand the “why” of what you’re doing, and even then you will still have a lot to learn. I’m always trying to learn and never grow tired of the creative process. In terms of monetizing your success, don’t compromise your vision or else you will get burnt out and no longer enjoy the medium.
You can find Sinziana online here: