MDLF: What is your name?
CS: Chris Singer
MDLF: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
CS: It is always hard for me to talk about myself so I would say other people have to find this word.
MDLF: Where do you live? Which cities do you most frequently go to and why? Are you more drawn to one place or culture?
CS: I live in Vienna and work across Europe and in Los Angeles. My favorite spot to work at the moment is Los Angeles cause there are so many different locations, always good weather and a lot of inspired and motivated people from all over the world. In the beginning it is always the location which fascinates me and once I spend time there, there needs to be a certain interest in the culture to keep it interesting.
MDLF: If you can, tell us three things that bring you joy.
CS: Sharing experiences with people I really care about.
Nice surf session on the water which brings me back to the the important things in life and a strong connection to nature. When a planed project gets realized and the result is even better than imagined.
MDLF: Can you tell us about any artist or person living or dead that inspires you.
CS: I am not getting inspired by a certain person as much as different works and actions or even from the conversations I have with people.
MDLF: When did you first identify with being an artist? When did you start creating? Did you foresee a creative path in your childhood?
CS: I first realized my creativity during school education in an art school where I was fascinated by photography especially analog photography. During my process of becoming a photographer, I tried different kinds of photography; press, sport and now I've ended up in a kind of fashion and beauty business.
I did not foresee a creative path in my life although my mother and my grandfather were very creative in painting and drawing but not in a professional way more in a passionate way.
MDLF: How often do you create? What motivates you to keep practicing?
CS: As often as I can and I am allowed to. Motivation for me is when you create a piece of art which speaks for itself which is timeless and where the beholder has to feel something deep deep inside. The worst case is when people pass by your art and just say “nice”….
MDLF: What challenges have you been met with while moving through a work in progress?
CS: The worst challenge is when you find out that that your plan which you made before the shoot does not work out, on the other hand it also comes to a point where you let things happen and in most times it is even better than planned.
MDLF: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
CS: When you work hard on convincing someone, especially people from the industry, to participate in your project and at the end they tell you that it was an amazing experience and they would love to work with you again in future.
MDLF: Can you share with us your creative process? Where does your mind go, what is your creative space like, what are your go-to-tools, when is a piece finished?
CS: For me the best ideas come before falling asleep, and these ideas I have to sort during the next weeks.
- My creative space depends on the projects each one can be so different, like my go to tools !
- A piece is finished when I think to myself this is it! Unfortunately I usually think about doing something different a few days later.
MDLF: Did you go to art school? If so, what are your thoughts on its effect on your art and process, Would you recommend it for others?
CS: I attended an art school only for two years and yes I would recommend an art school but not only for one kind of art. It should give you a wide perspective of different kinds of art cause in my opinion everything that inspires you makes you more valuable in your passion/profession.
MDLF: What is your perception of gender?
CS: I prefer to work with women cause I am really fascinated by women's bodies and the way they express themselves.
What does Masculine de La Femme mean to you?
Can you apply this meaning to your art or lifestyle?
CS: For me it means to portray women as independent, self-determined humans without pushing them into a social role.
[…continued] With the support of analog photography I would like to point out the uniqueness of all female attributes because analog photography does not allow body shaping and makes the photo a unique piece.
The styling of Monica supports the personality of the woman and turns her inner self even more to the outside giving her a certain self-confidence and pride without pushing her into a foreign role.
MDLF: Is your work changing in the current political climate? How so?
CS: No I don´t think that my work has any political influence.
MDLF: If you could sit down with your younger self, what would you say? What learning experience can you share with young women looking to be an artist or figuring out where they are needed most?
CS: I would say myself, stay independent in your work as long as possible. Do not produce too much work for money which are not authentic to your vision.
Never give up trying and never feel too good for some shoot you will always learn something new even it is not visual in the beginning, the development will never stop.
MDLF: What would you say to someone to convince them to shoot film vs digital.
CS: I think it is hard to convince someone to change. You have to try it and experience the concentration you need with film not wasting your shots and the tension you have until you have the first developed pics in your hand..
Further more I would say to just have one original picture which is hard to duplicate makes the work even more important and unique, and I am not talking about the advantages of grain and blur which makes it imperfect although this imperfection makes it unique and so interesting for me.
MDLF: Any recommendations on stocks, processing, scanning? Or do you want to keep your secrets safe?
CS: Just keep it simple I don’t care so much about the techniques for me the mood and the expression on the photo is more important than exposure or color balance.
MDLF: React to the statement "Turning a semi boring color photo to black and white magically makes it more interesting"
CS: Unfortunately since social media it is a way people try to get more out of their semi professional work but I guess the era of filters is coming to an end. For me black and white is film and not a colour conversion.
What made you think Lilly would be good for MDLF?
CS: Cause Lilly is a really authentic self confident woman who really knows what she wants and works hard for it and the most Important she is true to herself and her attitude.
MDLF: How did you two meet?
CS: A common friend introduced us.
MDLF: What was the thing that sparked the thought "we need to work together on something"
CS: You [Masculine de La FEMME] told me about your project one year before and I checked out your page. That was when I realized Lilly is perfect for that. She has great expression with her body as a dancer, is self confident cause she is confident with herself. I also know your styling, in which you truly have a great gift to select fashion that supports a persons mood and doesn't dominate the shoot.
MDLF: Where can we view more of your work?