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Art & Life with Pablo Unzueta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pablo Unzueta.

Pablo, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up in a creative environment wasn’t instantaneously inspiring to begin. I first became interested in photography at the age of 17 when I bought a digital camera.

Throughout my life, I have been around musicians, painters and photographers. These people were family members; they were passionate, creative thinkers, emotional and invested in their crafts. I knew I wanted to become a photographer when I took my first set of images in downtown Los Angeles. The human connections I made with photography has shaped me into the human being I am today. Storytelling is an imperative way of life. I was born on July 22, 1994, in Van Nuys, California. I come from an immigrant mother who wanted a better life for me here in the United States and not in Chile.

Additionally, her mother was the first person out of the family to leave Santiago, Chile and embark on a new life in Los Angeles, California during the 1980s. My grandmother would soon make a career as both a wedding and documentary photographer. Her work was the first influential element in my life as a human being. When I was 14, I had found out my father, too, was a documentary photographer for the Associated Press in Chile. I’m not sure if becoming a photographer is my actual calling, it could have been coincidental, or simply adventitious by nature.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
A photograph will tell me more about something than words, sometimes. I’ve been a documentary photographer for 7 years now. I have mainly focused on sociological issues in and around L.A. extensively. The photographic work that I’ve done in the past is not “art,” it is a collection of testimonies from people I’ve met, scenes stumbled upon, candidly, and the unattended marginalized realities.

Despite the exhaustive image-based world that has saturated photography, photojournalism finds its place and carries a crucial roll in giving people an in-depth worldview of the systemic problems surrounding us. I’m finding creative ways to produce good work that inspires initiatives for change, therefore, my work is constantly transitioning with improved perspectives.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My advice to younger artists is to follow your heart, not the prize. The best artists (widely celebrated or not) always stay true to themselves. It’s about intention, clarity and passion, lots of it.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I think for my type of work, it becomes a little tricky to succeed in a shrinking photojournalism industry that has become more reliant on local freelancers. That is where social media can be used effectively.

You can find my work on Instagram or you can simply go to my website. People can also support my work by inquiring about purchasing small prints that interest them on my Instagram feed, or website. I also released a book, “The Others,” this year. You can learn more about it on my website.

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