About Fernando Arias Photography
I grew up in Buenos Aires in a town populated by prostitutes, smugglers, jewish merchants, korean resellers, and other middle-class working people. In short: a wonderful place to acquire a taste of life. Coming from a bourgeois family, I was itching to stain my childhood purity with the strong flavoured broth that the streets offered.
But as you probably know, things are not so clear when you are 12. So I ended up in a rigid catholic college to became an electronic technician. It was a matter of time before I was expelled from school. A lesson I learned from that period is that you cannot change your true nature. This disposition, combined with my first deception in love, a vocational struggle, and a lot of free time created a teen with a lot of inner suffering – perfect timing to gift a boy with a photographic camera.
My parents divorced and while I was realizing that love could be a bit complex, so was the social and political landscape in Argentina: A terrorist bomb attack on the Israel Embassy next door blew up the apartment of my mother's fiancé where we were living during that period. We all survived but the apartment was demolished. Still, we were luckier than some neighbours.
In this precise moment, in the midst of chaos with our home turned upside down and the neighbour’s dog splattered all over the living room wall I felt the need to journal the event by shooting photos. I do not know why. I Just took my point-and-shoot camera and I shot scene after scene. Fascinated by the destruction, shocked by the kiss of death, grateful to be alive. This was my very first job in photojournalism. Then it suddenly became clear: I wanted to be a photojournalist.
Only 15 years old, I had no money to afford professional photography gear. But the streets have always whispered secrets about people and their desires in my listening ear. During the day I attended school and at night I went to the Teatro de Revistas. In this young days my source of income came from photographing an army of retired seniors who wanted their pictures taken next to the Vedettes.
Still a boy, I started working for local newspapers as La Nación, Planeta Urbano, and local publications among others.
In 1998, at 21, I joined the staff of Revista Gente, one of the best seller magazines in the Argentine publishing industry.
In 2000, I was won the Pleyade Award as best photojournalist of the year.
In 2002, I decided to launch my free-lance career in Europe. I worked in Italy for Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Panorama, Conde Nast and many others editorials in Paris, Bruxelles, Sidney. Corporate coverage for luxury brands included Esteè Lauder, Tom Ford and Shiseido to name a few.
With more than 17 years in photography, I have photographed some of the most influential people in the world like Fidel Castro, David Lynch and many others among writers, sportmen, Nobel Price winners, artists and designers.
What does Photography represent for me?
Well, I could try to explain it in these terms:
Try to leave your trivial worries for a moment. Behold the world around you.
You will discover so much beauty out there. Memorable postcards from our everyday world.
From the old man in the metro to the young model in Milan, a homeless in the street, a powerful leader behind his desk. All of them are playing a role on this chaotic stage of Life and all of them do it magnificently since they are real. They are acting the role of themselves.
I have fallen in love with this beauty, and I want to capture it since we humans tend to possess what we love.
Photography, to me, is like the butterfly net. I know that those that I immortalize do not belong to me. I just happen to capture them in a frame.
Beauty belongs to life. Not to me.