Today we’d like to introduce you to George Sifuentes.
George, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I would say film and music are ground zero for my story, even as a child sound and picture would resonate in my mind first, to this day it remains that way. The art of storytelling intrigued me the most and for years I’ve spent developing stories for film and television studios before I decided to pick or a camera and tell the stories I see my way. So, while its only been about 5 years since I picked up a “proper camera”, but I’ve been visually trained to recognize and execute images that provoke story my entire life. The odd tipping point was when I moved into my current place, my walls were empty and I have no layered taste in paintings. Near that time, I had seen Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” and one of the characters apartments is decorated with so many classic photographs of comedic legends, I wanted that in my place. I soon found out how expensive acquiring prints like that is, so I simply decided to take my own photographs and hang my own art. Since then I’ve been documenting cultures and profiling artist in Los Angeles and around the world
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a photographer, and my goal is to simply document and story tell. My niche is portraiture, and as a documentarian its people that catch my eye first and foremost. As far as HOW I execute I couldn’t tell you, but I do know the most helpful note I remind myself every time is the realization that every single person I’ve photographed and will photograph is different and taking the same approach with every subject is a surefire way to failure. I take portraits because it’s the first impulse I have, as an artist you embrace your gut impulse and let it grow from there, when I see someone who I think makes a great portrait it doesn’t matter if they are next to me or down the street, it catches my attention immediately and I can’t help myself but to start to calculate an introduction. Other shooters specialize in shadow play, urban symmetry, natural landscape, bikini models, I see those things and I don’t have the slightest clue how to photograph them. I see a mariachi man mounted on a horse hoisting an American flag and it all instantly makes visual sense. My goal is to give people a glimpse and provoke curiosity, that’s what my favorite art does no matter the medium, I hope that my work asks more questions than provides answers.
I take a lot of pride in the fact that my comfort zone rest in a genre of photography that most tell me is the more difficult
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I’m two sided about this answer, I feel like we live in a time where its easiest to say you’re an artist but by that gesture its more difficult to actually be a good artist. Social Media has saturated all markets, everyone is an everything these days and if someone were to say I contributing to that theory they wouldn’t be wrong and it is my goal to prove them wrong and work past the clichés, trends, and hashtags. More so these days I notice an abundance of artist focused on gimmicks to get their work noticed when that energy can be directed to furthering their craft. The end game of being a financially successful artist is always a goal but I don’t think it should be the driving force. Los Angeles is an affectionate battleground for all artist, artistic Darwinism in its purest form. This city is as supportive as it is competitive and with the surge of artist transplant who have made it here from all over the world to find their calling it instantly raises the bar. Are you driven and talented enough to make a blip on the giant radar? This city answers that question by illustrating that if you’re not putting in the time, someone else is… so get your ass out into the world and get to work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
If anyone happens to be at Nordstrom’s Grove & South Bay, I have some pieces scattered throughout the store, including the coveted wall of the men’s restroom on the second level. I have numerous pieces up and random restaurants (Cuban & Vietnamese due to my work in those countries) around Los Angeles. Anyone could support by contacting me to buy a print and if they really feel extra supportive, they can stand outside the offices of National Geographic Magazine in Washington D.C. holding a sign that reads “PLEASE HIRE photographer George Sifuentes”. Otherwise, they can check me out online
- Address: George Sifuentes
- Website: www.georgesifuentes.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sifuentes
- Twitter: @atsifuentes
Personal Photo by Zack Edison