Interview : Maciej Goraczko

407347_173376562770488_1085216435_nThe first time my eyes crossed over the work of Polish photographer Maciej Goraczko my reaction was purely physical. I felt my stomach lurch and my heart thump like a tribal drum beat. I had to look away for a minute or two, then go back to scrolling and viewing one damnable image after another. That’s what happens when I encounter the work of an artist who satisfies my obscure addiction to fear. Even before I had finished looking through his photography, I had decided that I needed to understand his motivation and inspiration.

What motivates you to create photography and share it with the world?
First of all it’s always fun to attack and profane some sort of order. I think that beauty, fashion, glamour photography, and the whole reality surrounding it is repulsive, so I create something deformed on that foundation. Something stripped of humanity, bleak, without a positive side. Evolution of aesthetics, not revolution. This is my motivation. I share my photography with the world, because it’s the tool to spread some sort of message behind concept. You can always hit the wall with a hammer, alone in your house, and you can always hit someone with that hammer in the head in public. I choose that 2nd option.

From where do you source inspiration for your hellishly dark works?
Inspirations are everywhere and nowhere. Sometimes I feel strong emotion toward something that I love or hate and that emotion is the beginning of the idea. On the other hand, very often ideas appear out of the void, unexpected. Of course, music I listened to, movies I watch, words I read etc affect the content of the works.

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Which current day photographers do you admire, and what is it about their work that keeps you going back for more?
I don’t know how you define current-day photographers, but I admire Michael Ackerman because of dark, ethereal, dreamy mood of his works. I also like photos of Waclaw Wantuch mainly because of technical stuff. He is the master of wide-angle lenses.

What is your favourite environment to shoot in? Do you relish the photo studio or enjoy the freedom of the outdoors?
The photo studio is very comfortable and fits perfectly into my current works. It just emphasizes the inhuman character of the pictures. But I enjoy outdoors too and I’ll definitely exploit that environment again.

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You employ the use of props, masks and costumes within a lot of your work. From where do you source your materials, and do you put everything together yourself?
I buy materials in textile shops, even unorthodox places like pharmacies and military shops. I used some building materials, nails, wires. I’m responsible for all stylizations, design of all of the elements etc. I also buy some products in shops then I modify them. Sometimes I need help from someone who knows how to sew or weld and obviously from make-up artist – in that case my friend, Katarzyna Konarska.

Your photography has attracted a lot of attention. How does it feel to have so many people responding so positively to your creations?
It’s always nice and surprising, but I don’t care about it much to be honest. I know that is unoriginal thing to say, but I take pictures mainly for myself and I think that is fair approach in relation to my followers. Personally I like to be surprised by artist that I admire and I like products of individuality so to speak and I think it’s impossible to achieve by bother about opinions, positive or negative.

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On your Facebook page I happened to notice a number of photographs shot in urban settings. What is it about the urban environment that makes you want to document it?
Urban environment always reminded me of decay and filth, especially in these days. I just used some of the details to create something interesting to look out of these utter nothingness.

Nature also appears to have a dominant role in your work. How would you describe your relationship with the outdoors?
There always will be connection with the nature – I’m part of it. Otherwise I don’t think that it has main impact on my creations but I cannot say that is not inspiring. My “nature” series is more like expressing emotions through it, similar as “urban” stuff. Relationship with nature is neutral.

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How do photo shoots usually take place? Are they always planned or is it more of a spontaneous happening?
It’s always scheduled event. We have to synchronize with all of the involved people.

What is on the horizon for 2015? Are you able to reveal hints of what we can expect to see from you soon?
I don’t think that setting goals for the distant future is reasonable. I would like to shot more photos, that’s for sure. We will see. Next session are on the way, today I finished one of the outfit element. I don’t want to spoil the new project since I can change some things at the last moment.

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