A featured article on Thrive Global of visual artist and dark photographerRey Rey Rodriguez (Part 2 interview).
The South Florida based photographer, graphic artist, filmmaker, and poet has worked along side many greats - in many art genres.
In this interview, I attempt to pick his brains; searching for the source of his inspiration, as well as delving into his avant-garde body of work - "Dark Art." No doubt, it was the aforementioned subject matter that caught my attention.
Nedu Obi (NO): "What inspired you to create dark art?"
Rey Rey: "Like most great dark artists, you can say my inspiration was born through pain. If you can take tragic or emotional energy and create art that allows others to feel it, they’ll always remember you for the experience you gave them. Once I understood how to produce an image that causes a chemical change in someone’s brain, I was addicted to that power."
NO: "Other than hands-on training, do you have any formal training in Visual or Fine Arts?"
RR: "I received a BFA in Multimedia with a concentration in Film and Photography from Florida Atlantic University. However, it was at Broward College, where, under the tutelage of Teresa Diehl I learned the psychology behind an image. She ran her Intro to Photography class harder than a Drill Sergeant. At the end of the semester I realized the master that she was, and the gift that she had passed down to me."
NO: "Who are your favorite dark artists?"
RR: "Many artists with a dark side, from all types of art have inspired me, but I'll keep the list short. Edgar Allan Poe, Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, Darren Aronofsky, Stephen King, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Marilyn Manson, Jack Kevorkian, Colin & Sas Christian, Alan Moore, Eminem, DMX, and Robert Crumb... to name a few."
NO: "What strikes the most terror into your heart?"
RR: "There was a man that stood up after an MMA fight with a gruesome looking broken arm; he showed no signs of pain, just smiled, and gave a loving embrace and speech to the man that broke it. That same man tweeted as he beat down two muggers attempting to rob him (referring to MMA & BJJ Legend Renzo Gracie). There’s no creature scarier than that. NO: Within this or any other genre, are there any dream projects on your to-do list?"
NO: "Can you give some examples?"
RR: "I’d like to start capturing the “Cream of the A-list celebrity crop” in my visual creations, start production on the 3 feature films I wrote, and eventually release my book of dark poetry & photography. In the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Visual Journalism, there are several dream projects that I’m currently working on that the world will soon see."
NO: "What advice would you give to up-and-coming artists looking to break into your field?"
RR: "Remain an open-minded student, learn from everything around you and dissect it all down to the micro details. Realize your true passions and practice them obsessively till it becomes automatic. Give yourself alone time to lose yourself in your thoughts and imaginations, and then write about them. Keep negativity away, stay healthy, dream big, and believe that anything is possible."
NO: "What do you hope to accomplish in the future?"
RR: "My goal is simple. To be remembered as one of the greatest, not just in one thing, but in everything that I do."