Home Contemporary Photography “Buy A Monkey And Go To The Jungle”

“Buy A Monkey And Go To The Jungle”

Felix R. Cid "Black Photographs" - www.felixrcid.com

“Photography is an addiction that somehow gives meaning to my life more than other drugs. I believe that it’s coming upon me. There comes a time, when it takes over and just carries me away – and I can’t but let go and follow.”

Felix R. Cid

Felix R. Cid is a visual artist born in 1976 in Madrid, Spain. He started working as a photographer in Ibiza and during the winter studied photography in Madrid. In 2002, he moved to New York to study a full time program at the International Center of Photography. Felix R. Cid graduated in 2005. After several international exhibitions, he was accepted in the MFA program in photography at Yale University, where he graduated in May 2012. He lives in Brooklyn. Felix R. Cid is currently working on a project called “Ecstasy” in which he aims to “create photographic tableaus depicting individuals in moments of ecstasy within macro electronic music parties all over the world”.

His latest project is called “Black Photographs”

“In this new series of work, Cid widens his lens to examine man within the context of contemporary society. Combining thousands of photographs over time, from shifting viewpoints, within a single frame, Cid explores the role of tradition in photography, politics and sexuality as the constants within a forever evolving society, illuminating their universal power over the individual.

In these three works, Cid is able to capture both the grand impact of masses brought together by common cause and spectacle, as well as the aggravation of a crowded bystander and the tortured expression of an onlooker amoungst a line of awe struck spectators. Cid transcends the limitations of space and time by combining thousands of raw portraits taken in the streets, within the format of a traditional black and white landscape.

Take a step away, and these faces become white stars in dark and empty space; Cid’s lens widens even farther to show this universe of ours at large.” Andrea Pemberton

Interview with Felix R. Cid

Felix, what was your first camera and photographic experience?

My first camera was a Nikon FM2. And my first job as a photographer was on the island of Ibiza – taking pictures of tourists for a local company.

Why did you become a photographer?

Because I got tired of everything else.

What does photography mean to you?

An addiction that somehow gives meaning to my life more than other drugs.

Which photographer has inspired you most and why?

At first, I would say Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, but also Helmut Newton. Now and for the past few years, Garry Winogrand and Philip-Lorca diCorcia are the two people, I admire most.

What’s your favorite photography quote?

If I cared about sentences, I would have become a serious writer. But words are carried away by the wind, photographs not.

How would you describe your photographic style and way of working? How do you realize a shooting?

I believe that, at least in my case, that the work is coming upon me. There comes a time when it takes over and just carries me away – and I can’t but let go and follow.

I don’t believe in a “personal style”. I believe in authenticity and sincerity with oneself, which in the end logically will produce a different result from any other artist. Everyone has a different DNA because we all have made different experiences. The result of what we do, if we are authentic, will always be different as well.

What qualities does a good photographer need?


What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?

If I look at a photograph, it needs to be intuitive and irrational at the same time. But so that we can delight ourselves, those who look at a particular photograph, it also needs to be the product of an intelligent investigation. It has to stimulate our basic instincts, yet allow us to discover new things each time we get back to look at it. And that we can understand the artist who created it and thus establish a conversation with him or her in the distance – and for that reason a photograph needs to be the product of an intelligence prior investigation in order to be able to teach us new things.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?

From looking constantly everywhere me constantly and my personal experiences. At the end of the day: What else do we got?

“Venuses” by Felix R. Cid: An instalation shown at the MFA Photography Thesis Show, Yale Univerity

How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?

I think I could answer this question with the same answer as above. But add that the most important thing is that you always try keep the dialogue with those who have the same interests as you.

What do you think is more important: a perfect use of the camera or photographic idea that is creative and a good concept?

I absolutely do not care at all about technical aspects of photography. But I think that the more one knows about these things, the more one can choose to forget about them. If you don’t know anything, you just don’t have any choice.

What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?

It depends, ultimately I’m working with a Canon 5D and a few very cheap lenses.

What’s your favorite website on photography?

Unfortunately, if I was to answer this question, I’d had to come up with a forced answer. I don’t spend much time on the internet. Perhaps the MoMA page is the one I visit most.

Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?

Buy a monkey! I mean, before it’s too late, think twice. For me it would be like telling a person who starts using heroin the following: “Well, look, it’s best to prick in private and not in public”, or “Sometimes you feel bad, but don’t worry, the body will get used to it”. No! Buy a monkey and go to the jungle.

More about Felix R. Cid


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