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Urban Focus on Everyday Life
Roberto Brundo has developed a keen eye for immortalizing unique human essence in a series of delightfully calculated, unexpected, and retro-urban themes. Clever angles, moody hues, punchy portraiture, and a social focus fuse together to create these striking yet familiar shots.
“As the only child of working immigrant parents in Germany, I had a lot of time to myself & always felt a sense of not really belonging to my community in a small town of south Germany. In my early teenage years, with access to the late millennial/Gen Y-kid internet, I became quite obsessed with the world of forums and bulletin boards. Two of my other interests were football and show wrestling.”
Brundo’s somewhat solitary upbringing acted as the seed that grew into a passion for photography. Creating avatars and signatures to symbolize his web presence blossomed his intrigue for graphic design, introducing Brundo to graphic skills and an eye for aesthetic appeal. Brundo focused on ‘soccer graphics’, ‘gaming wallpapers’, and general work you’d find on early iterations of DeviantArt and bulletin boards. Those visual elements are strongly present in his current collage and digital art work.
“Quite early into my studies I realized that I was in no way a pure photographer and that I was more interested in working multi-disciplinary and collaborating with other creatives & artists.”
For a time, he fell out of love with photography as a medium until 2014, when Brundo’s passion and talent were rekindled in what he calls his “photography renaissance”. Seeing the work of other great photographers, he decided to sell all digital equipment and start anew with an analog point and shoot (Contax G2), which led to “almost daily “lunch break” shootings with strangers from social media or anyone I could get my hands on really.” This urban focus on everyday life still runs through the core of Brundo’s aesthetic.
Brundo’s photography philosophy is deeply meditated and thoughtful. He thoroughly enjoys the process of laying out the imagery in front of him, enabling him to create “ways of mix and match them for a more impactful and dense experience.” His knowledge of theory and practice was ripened by his studies in communication at Berlin University of the Arts, where he “(finally) started getting more involved with the history of photography and art, but more importantly media critique and competence.”
Social skills are at the heart of what Brundo creates. His person-centric focus enables him to capture facets of a person that aren’t apparent at a first glance. Brundo certainly aims to tell a person’s own story, rather than frame them with his own identity.
“I get influenced by the ever-changing identity and nuance of the person I’m portraying. I’m usually very interested in how they see the world, rather than pushing my ideology. Since I am very mixed and kind of chaotic in my own identity, I never felt any limits in the variety of people and stories I was interested in. I aim to create a conversation with the subject.”
Find more of Roberto Brundo’s work on his website and Instagram.
Article written by Kate Smith