Italian photographer, Andrea Tomas Prato celebrates, documents and captures the nude female body. In many ways capturing female nudity is a mine field of discussion with polemical rhetoric regarding the objectification of women and of course the male gaze volatile areas.
In his images of the female body, Andrea negotiates eroticism, art and female nudity.
You only started photography in 2010-did you always have a passion for photography and why was it only in 2010 that you made the leap?
In a way yes but my passion for photography was fuelled in 2010, after meeting Enrico Prada, my teacher, he really helped to make the passion a reality.
Italy as your place of birth what effect has it had on what and how you take images?
Italy is beautiful, you can see the high quality of architecture, history, art in general, in women, in the totality of the landscape so perhaps through all of this then this my taste and the images that I end up capturing may have been influenced.
It states in your bio you are -‘free spirit, animal lover, travel and even lonely’ how do these personal characteristics appear in the images that you take?
It’s all true, my loneliness is part of my journey and of my research. It is rather paradoxical (something people find odd) but in my photography, I am not looking for anything. When I am in the process of taking images, it is important to me that I am immersed in the photography I do. I need to only be with myself and this allows me to photograph when I want without compromise so the images I create are hopefully powerful.
Explain your understanding regarding photography as a form of expression and communication?
At the base of my photography, there is what I consider beautiful in that moment. What I consider beautiful cannot be nice to everyone and maybe the next day it will not be as beautiful. At the time, it is my expression of my mood in that moment. Some people find it strange but I hate speeches on photography and philosophers of photography I prefer to allow the photography to speak and communicate-all that other stuff is bullshit.
Your images of the female body are sensitive and beautiful.
The female beauty……..the details, the breath, the smells, the sensations of the moment, the strength, the weakness, the spontaneity, the embarrassment, a smile, a bad thought. I have in front of me a person and she guides my photographic instincts. I always try to give importance to the individual, to the person who is giving me their image.
Do you think that mainstream is afraid of the naked body and genitalia?
No one is afraid of the nude, everyone is fascinated, even those who make moralistic judgements regarding nudity-it is a natural beautiful state.
It’s clear you are not really one to conform.
I prefer freedom to experiment and change for sure-I do not love technique and I do not have a love of equipment. These days I’m shooting with the smart phone, tomorrow I will use the film, next week maybe Instax but I will not be so anarchic, so I let me say that at times I prefer the 50mm lens, the one that most closely matches the human eye
Analog in many respects is the truest form of photography…
Analog is better than digital it is a better medium for that natural and raw result. The analogue charm begins when you choose the film and ends when you are holding the same film engraved; you’ve done something handmade, manual, romantic and personal.
Any photographers you feel are ones to keep an eye out for?
I could say three names of great photographers that we all know or a friend who photographs but I do not love to follow photographers. I like to see the images of photographers I am not very interested in learning or following the popular and most talked about photographers-I do not even want to know about photographers because photographers are bad people-maybe!