Everyone has a way of dealing with the extra time that self-isolation brings. In this series, we try to see how creatives from all over the world are using all that time to work on their photo portfolio. In this episode, we take a look at the work of photographer Lisandro Capetillo Ortiz that explores the shared realities of living in quarantine.
What do you do and what got you started with photography?
I specialize in black and white portrait photography, but lately I've been working with instant film and I love it. My love story with photography began in 1992 when I took my graphic arts class in high school. It was there that I fell in love with the chemicals and the magic of the dark room. Then I took courses at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus and since then I have not stopped exploring and continuing to learn new things. I am and will continue to be an apprentice artist.
How are you holding up during the quarantine?
During the quarantine. I have experienced everything, emotionally speaking. Impotence, despair, uncertainty, sadness, and concern among others. I'm from Utuado, Puerto Rico but I live in Claremont in Catawba County, North Carolina so I think a lot about my people on the island. I also care about my 5-year-old son Dylan, my wife Karla, and my parents who live here with me.
Any photo series in the works? What's the story behind it?
In this quarantine I bought a Lomo’Instant Wide camera that I always wanted to have and started a series to express my emotions and channel them through art. In this series I also highlight with two photos the effort of the teachers of my son Dylan, who was finishing his kindergarten when CoVid-19 arrived. These teachers have given everything to continue educating their students online and have had details of love for them and have not stopped letting them know how much they miss them. My son misses his teachers and his classmates very much and I wanted to pay tribute to this topic too.
This quarantine has brought good things too. I have had the opportunity to share with photographers from all over the world exposing photographic art in a project called CoVid-19-related art United Art Gallery by the prestigious Austrian photographer Markus Hofstätter. This is undoubtedly a very important contribution that we artists make to the history of this world.
What subject do you miss photographing?
I really miss portraying the nature and architecture around me. I want that great moment to come, where I can go out with my family and take photos of all that to help me express the wonderful feeling of freedom.
What is the first thing you would like to do once things get back to normal?
Wow! When everything reaches normality, the first thing I want to do is hug my mother Daisy, whom I have not been able to see closely since all this began. Go out with the family to a park, and the mountains, and enjoy a new beginning. I want to live and I want to make art!