In the fleeting world of art, mining creative friendships over the years is a rare thing, but for Sonia Szóstak it’s key to her philosophy. “I seldom meet people who I really want to photograph, and that’s why many of my collaborations last for years. I have some models, who I have photographed where the work has evolved into a deep friendship – allowing us to overcome all difficulties, obtain naturality and communicate without words,” explains the Polish photographer.
An interest born during early childhood, Szóstak’s house was filled with ‘great photographs’ of her parents, captured using old-fashioned ORWO films. From holding her first camera at 15-years old to gaining acceptance into the Polish National Film School, she has always preferred to shoot in natural settings, preferring to use her ‘intuition’ to guide her and openly shunning the photographic studio. “I'm never sure what is going to happen. I have to ‘feel’ the situation and I always avoid the photographic studio, which is an artificial element from the very beginning.”
A recent move from Poland to Berlin has shown no signs of culture shock, with Szóstak revealing; “Wherever we are, we always have the possibility to find something that inspires us, as long as we are creative and have our eyes opened”. And her latest exhibition Longboards, tattoos and a journey to Mars – currently on show in Berlin until the end of January – proves this. With an archive spanning fashion photography, nude work and portraiture – both staged and natural – taken over the last four years, tracing a change in the young creative’s aesthetic. “Through these years my ‘thinking’ about photography has changed. Now I work more consciously than four years ago. Nowadays, I'm more about documenting situations than creating them.”
Longboards, tattoos and a journey to Mars is on show at the NO WÓDKA concept store in Berlin until 25 January 2015, for more information click here