Once again an Editorial comes to us from Peru, this time the Model Mara Novaes is portrayed by the Photographer Armando Rodríguez added to the stylist of Marte Díaz. Colors that bring us the analogue's nostalgia and which embrace imperfections as when we capture an image on film, transmitting a more natural and authentic photograph. Mara and Armando tell us about themselves, who they are, where they go and what inspires them. As fate would have it this editorial has been censored for its publication, however you can appreciate the complete sequence of this daily and provocative staging.
Armando, how did this session originate?
Some years ago I met Mara and we agreed to make photos, there was always a lot of intention but it never happened, basically due to a geographical issue of comings and goings. Then when it was barely possible, it was just to synchronize and take advantage of the opportunity, you know, it's an alignment matter.
Mara, what is your offspring?
I was born in Brazil, in my cells there is a DNA with Egyptian and Portuguese genetics, I am also half African. I adore my country of birth, of people bathed by the sun and the joy of its tropical lands. I love going back to São Paulo and, of course, to Rio de Janeiro. Who might not like to walk along the coastal shore of the Atlantic Avenue, with its meandering designs, while people play soccer on the beach to the rhythm of Samba, from Leblon and Ipanema to reaching the Copacabana Palace for a martini, that's my offspring and I carry it with pride and love wherever my work takes me.
Mara, how was the experience of having worked with Armando and Marte?
Armando is a charm, it was a delicious afternoon, he knew how to capture the light in a spectacular way and, in its simplicity, the shooting turned out perfectly, as I had imagined. I think that between Armando and Marte Díaz, the talented stylist, they achieved to bring out my sexy side, which is what Hybris Magazine was looking for, without losing art or good sense.
Mara, what is your favorite photo from this session and why?
I am sitting on the kitchen board, there is nothing special, it's one like many other kitchens, but the photo is magnetic, I can't stop looking at it. That is what I mean by using my body as plastic material, my being is there and it transports me to another reality, like when you look at a painting. And there is also the gesture of my face, which reflects my personality so well, I want everything and I want it now, but always leaving a place for mystery.
"Mara always seemed to me to be someone with style or good taste, you don't always find that in a model, well she had it and she has it. So rather than looking for one, you finds one." - Armando
Armando, who are your references in the world of Photography?
I have many photographers in mind, certainly unknown because I feed myself on the networks of some, most of them Europeans or Americans, but who surely take photos for the love of art, not for economic reasons. But fixed without a doubt is Mario Testino and Peter Lindbergh, as well as Terry Richardson, the latter seems to me to hit the nail on the head when it comes to what a photograph should contain, it's transgressive, synthetic, it hits you! within each frame.
When did you know you wanted to be a Photographer?
I never knew it and I always wanted it (without realizing it) it was my hobby aside from studying graphic design, so everything went unintentionally.
Mara, do you have any dreams to fulfill as a model?
What I want is to create a career, to leave a path that, when it to be reviewed, can be seen as a coherent body of work and within that coherence, there will be sparks of light that motivate other people. Using my being, my body and my attitude as a mold, as a shape for the visual arts.
Mara, When would you say you're happiest?
Life is like a sine wave, you go up and down, that's why I try to maintain peace and fullness in my personal life. So I can give myself to my work without looking sideways. That's when magic happens, you know, in psychology they call it “el flujo”, even in English it sounds prettier “the flow state”. That moment in which you are completely immersed in the session, full of energy, focused, then the photos or the video reflect that state of mind.
What characters from the world of music, fashion and cinema are an inspiration to you?
You cannot imagine, I go from inspiration to inspiration, I don't have an order of preference. There are characters who have a fascinating career, just as there are characters who at a certain point in their career are a beam of light.
And although there are a lot of women, go listen to a song by Nina Simone, "me arrepia" (refer to "bristling hair" in Portuguese); there are also men, simply imagining Frank Sinatra, sitting in a bar in a dim light, drinking a whiskey, after having sung “Fly Me to the Moon”… I fly literally. Or to see Grace Jones, more as a model than a singer.
What I want to tell you is that I couldn't see a photo of Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh or Testino without imagining the set, the mood, I think that's the inspiration. Seeing a fashion show is a piece of art too: Dior Haute Couture SS47 or then with Galliano; the Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Met, after his death; Coco Chanel; Yves Saint Laurent, what people! A cover is also an inspiration, otherwise Franca Sozzani would not be a star: you see her work and it has to make you want to live and be happy.
I am young, I am 23, I have so much to understand, see, know, learn and travel. I know who Cleopatra is, from hearsay, I already told you that I am Egyptian, but I don't know her life, I haven't had time to read it yet. There is much more, meanwhile, I am taking inspiration along the way and I am a sponge, I listen and save, then I research, so if you see me out there and want to talk, tell me about the life of an inspiring character and you will have my full attention.
Armando, for you, what elements must a photograph have to become in a good photograph?
For me it should contain almost nothing (this is what you realize the older you get), get straight to the point, synthesize, it should be able to really hit you and that's at the same time an exercise that I try to practice, and I suppose that It's part of my evolution, I greatly admire those who achieve it.
what does the female body represent to you?
Wow! that, a WOW! I never imagined portraying a being that I could only see in magazines. There are no complaints. It is the most sensitive and susceptible side on which the human being can reflect, whether man or woman. In addition to the curvy and dynamic of course.
What do you feel or think when your eye is in the viewfinder of your camera?
I try not to think of anything, the mind already knows the technique and the plan. The point is to feel it and let yourself go.
"At the moment when you are directing a model, I think it's important that she has an attitude. If she has it, everything just flows, the photos come out by themselves. You just fool about and speak in English because it sounds cool." - Armando
Mara, what music do you like to listen to when you pose in front of the camera?
There are days for everything. I am an eclectic, I don't classify myself in a genre, from pop to house and why not, a rich reggaeton. My ears know how to appreciate good music. The important thing is that an atmosphere is created that connects the whole team in a rhythm and, do not doubt it, there can also be silence, silence has created great moments in the history of art.
Apart from your work as a model, what other things do you do?
Visiting art galleries and nourishing myself with the great names in the history of art and fashion is my fascination.
Armando, do you embrace improvisation or do you prefer to have everything thought out before a session?
I embrace both of them. There is always unimaginable planning, every detail counts. Everything is received and based on that, improvisation occurs.
Mara, What's a talent you wished you had?
Sing. I am a singer in dreams. Being a singer is similar to modeling, in a certain way you transmit your personality on stage, in your voice and in your interpretation.
Armando, for personal projects do you prefer natural light or studio light?
Natural light definitely.
Ayayay! it doesn't exist, well ... I once opted for Canon over Nikon, for the somewhat more organic and desaturated colors, I had the fantasy of taking shots like on film.
What are your future projections as a Photographer, as an Artist?
Uff! many, I always think that I need to learn something that I already know but I don't know how to express it into reality. That energy is what keeps you alive to continue creating and doing what you like at the end of the day.
Armando, What has been the Film that you remember the most for its photography and why?
Not necessarily for its photography but for its content and soul I always remember "La meglio gioventù" (The best of youth) by Marco Tullio Giordana, Italian, I recommend it to everyone, life itself. I also come up with “Lost in translation” (Sofia Coppola), “Enter the void” (Gaspar Noé) and “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón).
How is your relationship with your commercial or advertising work?
The classic is "you have to live from something in this world" and it's true. For me you have to function and be good, then you transmute, you turn art and the abstract into something communicative on a social level.
Mara, are you a fan of social media?
I use Instagram. It's the social network used by my people, my peers, where I can see what interests me and show my art. I take it as a diary, a mix between a notebook and an album of events in which I see the contemporary, show my work and share what has caught my attention.
Mara, is there something you would like to express to others? Feel free to do so.
As in any profession, in modeling you have to be tenacious, insist, fight. The road to success isn't always rosy. I have been working since I was 16 and believe me, I have suffered as much as I have enjoyed. It hasn't been easy and there is still a long way to go, I just leave as an idea that you have to continue believing in yourself, in what you can achieve and maintain focus, day after day, in the end that constancy is the race, that is the dream itself.