PhotoLounge Presents: Kate Vitali

Collaborative Features

How do your friends and those around you influence your work? 
“I come from a long line of artists on my mother’s side, so she definitely had a big influence on me growing up - always pushing me to nourish my talent. My friends do the same but are also often the subjects of my images.

What do you try to communicate through your work? 
“Depends on what I’m shooting - this summer has been a lot about showcasing New York youth post-pandemic. Before that, I was focused on self perception as well as trying to create a safe space for people like me within my work. I have also found myself fixating on themes surrounding mind vs. body. A great photographer once said that the camera is just an extension of the body - I think I communicate that through my work.”

What role does photography play in your everyday life?
“Everyday photography allows me to see how special my artistic eye is. I’ll walk around with my friends and find myself noticing the beauty in things that others don’t. Having “the eye” for photography is so fundamental! Everyday I thank the universe that I am a creative person with an eye for photography.”

How would you describe your style of work?
“It’s hard to find adjectives that rightfully describe my style of work. The first thing that came to mind was adjectives I would use to describe myself and my personality - this led me to realize that simply put, my style is me, Kate. I try to be as straightforward and raw as I can in my images and I think that shows through. I capture what catches my eye, I capture what I’m thinking about, I capture what will help me heal. However, if I were to choose a genre that I might fall into it would probably be something involving black and white film portraiture.”

How do you feel your work has changed over the years?
“My work has changed alongside my own lifestyle changes. This past year was the first time that I (confidently) approached self portraiture and I was only able to do that once I became more secure with myself and my body. I feel as though this past year was the most transformative in terms of my artistic style and it’s nowhere near slowing down now.”

Do you have a favorite photograph?
“I could never choose just one photograph to deem my favorite but I definitely have a bunch that I have been super inspired by. There’s too many great artists in the world!! Honorable mention to Man Ray, Nan Goldin, Brittney Cathey-Addams, Sally Mann, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. I’d say they all have somewhat similar characteristics in their art.”

How has photography challenged you?
“This past year has challenged me the most. Nobody talks about how f***ing terrifying it is posting your nude artwork on the internet for everyone to see. Your friends, family, ex friends, ex lovers, teachers, classmates. It’s so terrifying that it’s almost like an adrenaline high. It forced me to confront my internalized sexism and say ’f**k you’ to the patriarchy - I can post my nipples on Instagram if I want to.”

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