Little Pink Camera: The Artistic Style of Catherine Armanasco
When New York City-based photographer Catherine Armanasco was about fourteen years old, she took a walk with her aunt, an artist, around her town with a little pink Samsung camera. Catherine took pictures of everything she saw. Upon returning home, she and her aunt looked over the images. Her aunt told her that she really had “an eye.” Those words, in addition to her genuine love for photography, encouraged her to professionally pursue the art form. Her very first photography class was a black-and-white darkroom course in high school.
Catherine mainly likes to shoot black-and-white film, but occasionally shoots color as well. Her work mainly consists of images that she has staged using different objects as symbols that have an underlying meaning. Catherine’s hope is that viewers look at her work with great intent on discovering the message that she is trying to convey to them. Being is an attempt at showcasing the human conscious and it being the very way that we live our lives.
Untitled 1 and Untitled 2, are part of a series that Catherine worked on this past year as part of her junior seminar class at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York City. Her main inspiration throughout the project was Gregory Crewdson, an American photographer best known for staged scenes of homes and neighborhoods. Catherine looked to create cinematic lighting to tell the story of her cousin, as the series deals with the fascination that she has of her cousin’s European lifestyle; specifically, the way that her cousin represents herself and her surroundings. After having been spoken to in French by her mother as a child and attending Lycée Français de New York, the French high school of New York in Manhattan, Catherine finds the lavish quality that her cousin incorporates into her life to be very desirable.
Walk Through Carmel is one of the first few photos that Catherine took with a black-and-white film camera back in high school. For some unknown reason, once she developed the roll, the man in the image was captured as a still subject even though she had photographed him as he was walking. Additionally, while he is stationary, his surroundings appear shifted. It was a happy mistake for Catherine, as the final photograph turned out to be a very unique shot.
Time references how quickly life goes by and how people tend to spend that precious time. The image depicts a woman who is clearly bored and doing nothing of value as time is passing her by, evident through the movement of the brush strokes. Catherine is particularly interested in dualism in philosophy; the teaching of a physical and spiritual world, and that the body and mind are separate. Finally, Untitled 3 is a study of the body stopped in motion. Catherine’s goal with this piece was to create some sort of distortion to the human form.
As an artist, Catherine credits Gregory Crewdson, Lorretta Lux, Diane Arbus, and Henri Cartier-Bresson as major influences of her work. Throughout her experience in art school, she has come to realize that she is not particularly interested in being solely a photographer, but moreso in a career where she is constantly surrounded by photography, such as being the photo editor or art director of a magazine publication on a topic such as travel, home, food, or society.
Story by Emily McNally, photography by Catherine Armanasco.
This post originally appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of V23 Creative Magazine.