Interview with Yvonne De Rosa

Yvonne De Rosa, an Italian photographer, has graduated Political Science. Soon after she finished her studies in Italy she decided to follow her passion for photography and she moved to London where she studied at the Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. She adapted so well that at the moment she still lives and works in London. Her first book “Crazy God” has been published in Italy, UK and USA by Damiani printing-house and it was presented at the “Photographers’Gallery”, London.

“Crazy God” has been awarded by the World Health Organization and it was shown at the World Conference on Poverty and Health in Venice. “Crazy God” has also been awarded the first place at the International Photography Awards (IPA) with five honorable mentions in other five cathegories, and it is one of the winners of the The Magenta Foundation’s Emerging Photographers Competition entitled “Flash Forward”.

To be Passionate
Interview with Yvonne De Rosa
by Sens Unic

Your book was awarded first prize at the International Photography Awards,
at the contest “Flash Forward”. What did the people actually think about this book?
Had you got problems because of the title?

I can not complain, I had a lot of good response and no one had anything to say
about the title. The idea behind the title comes from one of the pictures.
It is a picture of one of the graffiti on the wall, that graffiti says “Dio pazzo”
which means: “Crazy God”.
When I took that picture I knew that crazy God had to be the title.

How much time took you to transform the idea into the real book
that you hold in your hands? How did you start this book?

The idea of the book came few years after I stopped working there as a voluntary,
I studied photography and I wanted to tell the story of the people
I met in that very important experience of my life.

How did the experience of working with the Damiani printing-house influenced you?
How attentive were they?

They are very good. I was and still am very impressed about the finishing and printing of the book!

What was the hardest work about this subject?

If I have to be honest, the work I did as a photographer was not difficult,
it was much more difficult to be in that place before it was closed.

Was the selection for the book a hard work ? When you did your last selection,
did you ask yourself if the people will like or dislike the photos or, even worse,
that the people will not understand the pictures?

I never select my work regarding other people’s taste. I do care just about the story
I want to tell and the pictures that are essential to that. Obviously,
I listen to what friends and colleagues think, but at the end
it is the flow of the story that counts.

Who helped you on this way?

A lot of people, especially the ones that always pushed me on believing in the project.

Why did you choose to live in England?

After my degree in Italy, I studied photography in London and it wasn’t really a choice…
I am just still here!

Why did you give up Political Science? What about politics of UE?

I didn’t give up political science:). I finished my degree with full marks and honour.
I just always wanted to be a photographer…please don’t ask about politics …
at the moment none of our politicians in Italy is representing me!!

Which are your favorite photos or paintings of the world?

There are too many, from Robert Capa to Diane Arbus. Photography is my passion
and I could not name just a few!

What is more important on this way – success or following your own ideas?
To be nice with people, or to show your thoughts about the world?

Success in not the most important thing. Even if you get some sort of success
some day or the other will not matter or even finish. Anyway, I don’t think that
success can last more then the satisfaction of doing your best.

How real are the emotions around us? What does honesty mean to you?

I think that honesty is an attempt.
Sometimes we try our best to be honest, but our vision of honesty can be not quite
the same with the person we are dealing with, it can be very different from
the rules and even of the law…

What is the goal of art: to give meaning for things, to find pleasure?

To me Art is a form of expression.
Art is is the language that some people use to express feelings or opinions.
It is impossible to define what really can be considered art and is even more difficult
to define what can be considered good art. I say that the human being is the measure,
and each person has a different way of measuring and judging.

It is said that art is a language, but does the quality of this language depend
on the people whom you speak to?

Absolutely. I think that the real success is the communication between the artist
and the viewer, and the real communication will really happen between two people
that have the same sensibility and “speak the same language”

Where do you take inspiration from?

Real things, real stories, things that matter to humans.

What is more important: the way or the result?

Always a combination, but without any result…

Do you get angry when people misunderstand your photographs?
Do you mind explaining them the photographs?

Ha-ha!!! No, never, never angry:)

Would you like to follow a specific rule in art?


What does Photography represent to you: a prayer, a confession?

A message, a statement, everything,…it depends on what I need it for.

What is the most important thing for the young generation
who want to become a photographer?

To be passionate about it! Without that drive, you can not succeed especially
in the world of photography now, where everybody is a photographer:))

February, 2011

Personal site of Yvonne De Rosa:

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