Thursday, 7 February 2013

Interview Foam Talent Call - Shane Lavalette

Selfportrait © Shane Lavalette

Shane Lavalette, one of the photographers selected in 2012 as a Foam Talent, was interviewed as part of the 2013 Foam Talent Call. His portfolio appeared in Foam Magazine issue #32/Talent.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Shane Lavalette. I was born in Vermont, and am currently living in Upstate New York. I have a BFA from Tufts University in partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. When I'm not making photography, I work as the Publisher and Editor of Lay Flat and the Associate Director of Light Work. I enjoy good food, good company, and the good ol' outdoors.

What inspired you to pick up a camera and take photographs?

It was photography itself, really. I got serious about taking pictures around the age of fifteen when I discovered the black and white darkroom. I think working in there reminded me of my childhood fascination with photography. I'm not in the darkroom much these days, but am still enjoying the magic of the medium.

How did you find out about the Foam Talent Call last year?

I've been reading Foam Magazine for some time now, and always enjoy seeing the work that's featured and the young artists in the Talent issues. Having just completed a large body of work as a commission for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, I thought it would be a nice time to start sharing some of the pictures. I'm glad the editorial team responded well to the project and decided to include it.

What (technical) gear do you use?

It varies by project, as it should. For this particular one, I shot everything with a medium format Mamiya, scanned the negatives on an Imacon, and made prints on Canson paper. These were the first digital prints I have been happy with.

Do you have other interests besides photography?

I've always been been interested in graphic design, and in music. I recently designed and produced the first full-length album titled Be Good for an up and coming Chicago-based artist, Cross Record. She chose a photograph of mine for the cover. That LP can be purchased here.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Depends on the day. Generally I look outside of photography for inspiration, and bring it back into my work. Most recently, as I mentioned, music has been very important. I'm enjoying classically inspired guitarists lately-the likes of John Fahey, Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Steffan Basho-Junghans, and others.

Who is your favorite photographer or artist?

Impossible. I spend most of my time looking at photographs in books, and there's a new one every week, if not every day. I feature some of those here.

Have you been working on any new projects this year you would like to share with us?

I've been experimenting a lot, trying to push my practice, and exploring more conceptual approaches to image making.

What did the Foam Talent Issue do for your career as a photographer?

The issue helped me get my work into the hands of many other artists, gallerists, curators, etc., of which a few opportunities and connections have come from.

Do you have any tips for the young photographers out there who want to submit their work to the Foam Talent Call?

Be passionate, make work, share it. That's all.


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  13. Shane Lavalette is a photographer, the founding publisher/editor for Lavalette and the director of Light Work, a non-profit in Syracuse, New York. In 2016 ...

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