A quick chat with Barbara Bezina
Barbara Bezina is a self-taught artist who indulges in experimentation with various modes of photography, drawn to the fluidity and unpredictability of developing film. Often employing self-portraits within her works, she invites us to consider the role of our own gaze. Bezina infuses her work with an inspiringly fresh outlook on her subjects; reflected in our interview in which she shared her zest for life and a never-ending passion for exploration.
Where is your studio based? How do your surroundings influence your work?
On the outskirts of a small mountain town in San Juan, Argentina.
Together with my husband we chose to build a beautiful self-sustaining garden and dedicate to discovering ourselves, to get to know ourselves, to study, to investigate, to stop doing things that we did not like or that were imposed, basically to build our own life chosen by us. In this way, we have made art every day – connected and related to our surroundings.
Where did your interest in photography arise from? When did you first fall in love with working with photography?
My interest in photography arose thanks to digital art. When I started making these digital works I needed more and more material and living in a remote place, I didn't see other people so I only had myself as a model, ... I started to make self-portraits more and more often. I first started working with photography as a way of making digital art, which was what I wanted to do the most at that time. After several years and very little by little I fell deeply in love with photography and it became something very different from what it was until then. My photography is a record of what surrounds me and what is internal, of my self-knowledge, the garden, the cats, the plants, the water, the mountains, the sun, the light, the darkness, the ghosts, the movement, intimacy, solitude, silence, mysteries, the invisible, life. Photography has become more and more deep, magical and sacred.
What is your favourite photographic technique?
Long exposure, more precisely long-exposure self-portraits. In analogue, I like double exposures and soups in addition to long exposures. I also love using expired films and as I develop the films myself I can do many experiments. I think maybe my answer should be: constant experimentation because that's what I like the most.
What is the relationship between humans and nature for you?
In my case, it's respect and friendship, it's an always enriching relationship. I think everything is connected.
Who is your biggest artistic inspiration?
Who? I think existence itself, art itself. Having a person as a muse is something I never understood, finding the inspiration outside myself is something I don't understand. Inspiration is like a source, something in itself, energy always available, unlimited. I've always been inspired, it's something that I can't separate from art. I always want to make art and I am always inspired, they are not separated.
What are you working on right now?
I like to do many different things, to vary what I’m working on. I'm drawing and painting with different techniques and materials, I'm doing long exposure self-portraits, finishing various digital illustrations, a bit of 3D, learning new software, ... I'm finishing work for a drop in Makersplace; I am participating in a Crypto Art documentary which will be amazing; I have several beautiful and incredible collaborations that will soon see the light ... I'm quite active and productive.
How has the pandemic impacted your working practices?
It has not affected anything. Rather, you could say that my life, in general, has recently improved, but I don't know if it has to do with the pandemic.
What do you think the future of digital art holds for us?
I don't know. Digital or traditional art I think we don't have to lose sight of art, make art, that's what is important to me. Do the best you can do, artistically and in general, but do your best.
Follow Nicole on her Instagram@nicole.kitsberg