As you may have already guessed from the previous article on Moky, she travels with her mind creating worlds and scenarios through editing tools, and tries to bring the viewer into a stimulating and evocative state of mind that tickles one’s inspiration. But to better understand what’s behind her art, we had a little talk about photography and life. Enjoy.
INTERVIEW WITH MOKY
Hi Alessandra, tell me something about yourself.
Hi! My name is Alessandra, also known as Moky. Right now, I am currently 26 years old, and I am working in Milan as a Media Analyst, but I was born and raised in Turin. My parents are from Albania. I have a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, I love geography and travelling, but I have always wanted to study something artistic-related since I was 13. Indeed, I think the perfect solution between travelling and art is photography. As Art Schools were too expensive for me, and my parents wanted me to study something profitable for the future, I have never attended any art schools. I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking that if I could not study art, I would have never achieved what I really wanted. Growing up, exploring different kinds of arts, I have changed my mind. Of course, attending art schools gave people the knowledge to understand the past, the present and the future of art, experiment with different techniques, and it is an easy way to instantly achieve certain knowledge which individually would take a lot of time to. However, I think some schools are too rigid with their standards on art techniques and this is reflected on their students.
How did you get into photography?
It all started out back in secondary school when I used to take photos only with my mobile phone. I have always spent my free time staying up late at the computer playing video games, listening to music and I used to file every single photo I had in different folders and watch them over and over. Originally, I just used to draw, but I have always cared about every single photo I had, saving them in every driver I could. I have always been attracted to the anime world, moody videogame’s cityscapes and landscapes and I tried to recreate similar things in drawings, but it just never turned out the way I wanted it to. When I was in high school, I started to edit my self-portraits with Photoshop to create funny content to share on Social Networks. Firstly, it was just a simple relationship with the post-editing content, and the photo itself was less important to me. Every shot I took it was already elaborated in my head with edits. As I received my first compact camera, I realized how different photos contrasted with my phones, how resolution was different and how many things I could do with it.
And when it comes to your photography, why did you choose this style?
I remember the day I was 15 years old, and I was on a bus with a friend with my camera, I have casually taken a wonderful photo of a blurry Prunus Avium tree (a wild cherry tree). I thought it was so nice the way it reminded me of the anime world without edits. I wanted to learn how to recreate that style. Little by little I have started to be interested in landscapes and cityscapes photos. When I was 18 years old thanks to a School Project I went to Bora Bora, in French Polynesia for a 3-month training job. Of course, in a place like that every photo I took was amazing, also a moving photo with a finger ahead. With all those palm trees it was very easy to create photos in a vaporwave style.
Photo by Moky (Alessandra Gera) – ©All rights reserved
Do you consider your style related to cyberpunk?
I have learnt and I am influenced by cinematography and videogames, as I want to reproduce the unreal world. I tend to recreate my artistic vision rather than trying to capture life exactly as it is seen to the human eye.
Your photography speaks through colours and acid tones, are they linked to the context of the image in any way?
For me, the editing process is more enjoyable than taking photos. I am fond of editing my works with multiple photos trying to reproduce the image I see in my head. I like to add neon, lights, plants. Moreover, I spend a lot of time regulating tones. It has been 2 since I started using an Infrared lens. Infrared Photography is a specific photography technique obtained thanks to some filters or sensors which can filter infrared light, invisible to the human eye. Mainly used for scientific research, thanks to this technique we can obtain photos representing the world between us from another point of view. The result is creating this dreamlike and surreal world with different colours even if the landscapes’ details are maintained. Infrared light cannot be seen without sunlight and it is mostly visible with plants, creating an amazing result of bright leaves and dark skies. Leaves without sunlight cannot be so bright, creating a dreamlike world. For the Infrared Photography, the editing process it is necessary.
What kind of feelings do you want people to experience when they look at your photos?
Everyone perceives things differently, and I think that is the great thing about art. I think my works can have different interpretations. It makes me especially happy when people tell me that my work has inspired them to take photos. Also, when people want, I send them the photo I share on social in high definition for wallpapers. It is one of the most rewarding feelings, as I do the same with my inspirational artists.
Do you think smartphone photography has an influence on your production?
I do not really use the smartphone for my photos because I do not like the low resolution they have. I started to shoot with the smartphone when I was in high school but as I obtained a camera, I stopped to take pictures with it. Nevertheless, I do not shame who use just smartphone photography. I also use the Auto mode when I do not have time to shot or people are waiting for me. For me, every simple photo it is very important, as it is unique in its style.
Are you planning to do any physical projects, such as a photo book or an exhibition?
With the coming of Covid, as most of the people I guess, I dedicated less time to photography due to quarantines. It would be an honour for me doing exhibitions or photo books, but I do not think the time has coming to planning them on my own. I am a very critic person always in searching of improvement. Actually, thanks to a contest, a photo of mine has been exposed to Turin’s Gam.
Do you think there will be any major changes in style in the near future?
I want to improve myself in techniques and experiment with the infinite shapes of photography. I have always wanted to start with analogue cameras, and I think in the next few months I am going to. I would like to try the Kodak Aerochrome film, it can highlight foliage in bright red or pink. Another thing in which I am starting exploring is drawing on photos. I have recently bought an iPad with a touch pen and the Procreate App. It allows you to draw on photos and edit them with different levels like Photoshop. Many painters start to use it for drawing, but I use it a little bit differently, principally for photos.
Last question, do you have a favourite shot of yours?
At the moment, my favourite photo is the one I took with the Infrared filter to the “Bosco Verticale” in Milan. I like the quietness, solitude and colour it has.
We truly thanks Moky for this interview, and for the time she dedicated to our magazine. If you want to follow her work and stay updated with her projects, please click here.