Photojazz Five: Mary Cimetta 3

Photojazz Five (n.) Five questions to and five photos from a street photographer.

I haven’t done a Photojazz Five interview in quite some time. It’s not that I was extraordinarily busy or in-firmed, but I felt that I was publishing them too often. That might sound odd until you realize my motivation in doing this series. My primary motivation is not to feature street photographers. That’s just a positive byproduct of what I’m trying to do. I was afraid that the weekly publishing schedule would water down what i am trying to get across: to portray street photography as an individualistic art form. I want to erase as best I can from the public consciousness that street photography is both singular and simplistic in style and vision. My hope is that, through this series, people will begin to understand that individual street photographers have unique ways they see things and that gives their individual work a unique style that separates it from other photographers work.

Good street photography has complexity.

Which brings me around to the subject of today’s interview: Mary Cimetta. To be honest, until she won a recent Yard Collective contest, in which I was a judge, I had not come across her work. After seeing some of what she’s produced I am absolutely embarrassed that it took me so long. I’ve been trying to work out the best way to describe what she is able to see and all I can come up with is this: Mary has perfected the art of visual juxtapositions and illusion.

Check out my interview with Mary Cimetta and her work below.

In one brief statement, define street photography?

Street photography is a state of mind. No kidding, it is a way to look at the ordinary and see the unusual in it, to look at everyday situations and find a decisive moment in them, to look at candid happenings and see iconic interactions between people and surroundings in them.

How would you define your artistic style (I.e. What defines your visual ‘uniqueness’)?

“Keep it simple?”. I don’t look for exceptional events but for a different way to look at simple things. Everybody could take my photos. Not everybody though would have seen them even standing by my side, and that combination of brain and soul, imagination and spirit of observation that is me, is my visual uniqueness.

How did you get into street photography?

Don’t look at me, it was all Stamatis’ fault. I showed him my first attempts at street photography and he greatly encouraged, mentored and supported me.

I started as conceptual photographer, and I do have a conceptual approach also in my street photos. What fascinated and fascinates me in street photography is the fact that life itself can offer situations far more strange, original and beautiful than anything I could set up.

I love the unpredictability and capriciousness of street photography. Though without Stamatis’ encouragement I would have never uploaded street photos on dA.

What influences your work (can be anything)?

Indeed it IS anything, everything. I don’t believe in objectivity of photography, not even documentary photography. Photography is for me reality filtered out through the photographer. Anything that shapes a photographer, shapes his photos. Plus, photography is for me my journal.

Who are your top 5 street togs?

Five is both a too high and too low number. I love and admire many unknown but very talented dA streeters, and I admire and virtually stalk many worldwide known and very talented streeters. Stamatis and Eyal Binehaker have a very special place for me, because of all the things they taught me both with their words and with their works. I would marry Mr. Sudor , too, if he didn’t have enough ex-wives already.

Thanks to Ms. Cimetta for taking part in this tiny little series. If you want to see more of her work, and you should, visit her photoblog.

About Brian

Brian Q. Webb is a photography enthusiast from Los Angeles, California who spends most of his time in Taipei, Taiwan. He is especially interested in street photography as well as large format portraiture and pinhole photography. He also likes to shoot lifestyle portraiture and occasionally acts as an agent for foreign newspapers wanting event coverage in Taipei. He was also on the staff of deviantArt and is co-founder of PhotoMalaysia, the largest photography community in that country.

  • Stamatis

    It was certainly worth the wait! 😀

  • photojazz

    Yeah, she’s got a GREAT eye. 

  • Mary Cimetta

    Thank you so much for the honor and for the beautiful words you had for me!!!!