Interview from NYC- Photographer Andrea Tese

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The themes and subjects of her photos are off beat, dark and raw.I am thinking the modern Diane Arbus? Most definitely. In modern day fast paced society Andrea is focusing on the possessions that an individual leaves behind once they die. A bit morose? Well….depends how you see things…but the fact of the matter is that these are not usual subjects. It’s the things we forget about or don’t see or rather choose not to pay attention to because it makes us nervous and uncomfortable. A bit like Arbus. Other works portray animal carcases and fresh blood or lonesome graves in highlands. Images are eerie , some provoke a beautiful numbness and others touch you with their rawness. You feel like you are standing next to her looking at it- the images are so real! We caught up in her incredible townhouse, a space that makes you feel transported to another world where for a minute you forget that you are in the heart of busy downtown New York City.

How did you get into photography? I took a photography class in high school and was immediately drawn to the magic of the darkroom.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work? I draw inspiration from my experiences. I think that (like most people) there’s enough material there to inspire several lifetimes of work. Read on for more images

Who are your favourite photographers? Diane Arbus, Sally Mann, Taryn Simon…

Explain to us this obsession with death? I’m not obsessed with death but it is an inevitability that cannot be ignored. And what really interests me is what remains after death, not death itself.

Tell us a little bit about the project you are working on at the moment? I am finishing up a two year project called Inheritance. The series catalogues the entirety of one man’s worldly possessions at the time of his death. The sum of the images create a posthumous portrait of the deceased. This project is an exploration of identity and legacy, as well as a
challenge to traditional ideas of portraiture.

Where have you shown your work?
I had a solo exhibition in 2009 at Heist Gallery in NYC and that same year at the National Arts Club when I was given the Young Innovator Award. I have also shown in many group shows.

Where would you like to exhibit? My favorite gallery is Yossi Milo, but I’m open to suggestions!

Favourite travel destination? Everywhere, literally. I love to travel and do it often. But if I was forced to choose a favorite destination it would be anywhere I haven’t been before.

If you did not live in New York where would you live?
On a deserted island.

Favourite restaurants around the world? Red Egg in NYC, Star of India in London, Brasserie Lipp in Paris, Borchardt in Berlin…

Favourite hotels? There are so many but my favorite has to be the Hassler in Rome.

What designers do you like to wear? Chadwick Bell and Lyn Devon.

Describe your style? It depends on my mood.

Did you completely redesign your townhouse or it’s close to the original state you bought it in?
I completely gutted it and tried to bring it back to what it originally looked like when it was built around 1800.

Favourite city? New York of course.

Goals? To leave behind something of importance.

Future projects?
I’ve begun a project entitled Things Fall Apart in which I reconstruct crashed planes on site using the remaining debris.

You are involved with the charity Goods for Good- tell us bit more about this? How did you get involved and why this charity in particular?
I’m actually in Malawi with Goods for Good right now. I’m taking photographs to auction off at our upcoming gala this spring. It is an amazing organization that “makes progress out of excess”. In short it helps people in need to eventually help themselves whilst repurposing unwanted materials.

Grace! You have the most amazing dog- tell us a little more about her….
She’s beautiful and gets away with murder… My idol.
Inside Andrea’s studio

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