Victor Perrotti's first camera was a Kodak Pocket-Instamatic 110 purchased for him by his mother. Over the years, his photographic work has come full circle in what he considers a natural progression from film to digital then back to film again. Among his subjects you will find railroad tracks, abandoned warehouses, salvage yards, graveyards, telephone poles, bridges and broken glass. The Mid-Atlantic Coast is his studio. “I find my surroundings to be both beautiful and grotesque; a testament to nature, human ingenuity, ritual and neglect.” Perrotti’s most recent work, Enter the Soft World, poses the question, “how do we fit into our world?”
I am merely a guide, leading people beyond their routine existence. My destination is the beauty tucked inside urban sprawl. The places I seek aren’t usually given a second thought. The masses, devoid of curiosity, never think to ask, how do humans fit into their environment? How does human behavior change the face of the planet? My fixation with questions like these, draws me in to explore desolate places. These places are like magnets to me. Alfred Stieglitz stated, “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” This reality so subtle is my focus, as seen through the mind’s eye.
My vehicle is the camera and a roll of film. I find myself trekking under bridges, along railroad tracks and into graveyards. I have come to rely upon the pinhole camera as an indispensable tool in rendering desolate places. The edges of a pinhole photograph are vignetted in dark mystery while the center is blown out. Currently, I am using the 6x6 mm format in a break from the landscape/portrait view. When shot with a pinhole camera, this square format works astonishingly well to emphasize a feeling of rushing forward in a dream. The implied urgency helps to elicit a range of emotions, thus fostering a feeling of connection between man/woman and nature.
I continue to shoot digital from time to time but bytes don't hold my interest like small particles of metallic silver. Every shot counts when shooting film, so an emphasis is placed on deliberateness. I look for form and contrast, so to complement the inherent softness found in film photography. I often use monochrome to avoid the distraction of color and to elevate the form. I reintroduce modern man/woman to the whole of his/her world.
My alternate realities stand in stark contrast to the slick renditions of digital. Photography without a lens is a profound simplification of the photographic process. There is beauty to be discovered in that which we take for granted. There is an other worldliness that is an integral part of humankind's relationship with nature. Bringing to the forefront these ideas does not require complications. To capture ephemeral light, one need only possess curiosity, a camera obscura and the time to explore.
Victor Perrotti, (b. 1961, US)
Currently lives and works in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Pending Associates of Applied Science Degree in Graphic Design, Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth, VA
1989 Master of Education, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
1986 Bachelor of Science in Educational Leadership Services with a minor in Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
1984 Shodan, Butoku-Kai USA Division
Selected Group Exhibitions
2016 NSEW: Divided by Land | United by Film, Kransberg Arts Center, Saint Louis, MO
2016 32nd Annual Juried Photography Exhibit, Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk, VA
2016 45th Annual Student Art and Design Exhibition, Tidewater Community College Visual Arts Center, Portsmouth, VA
2014 & 2013 Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Cemeteriescape, Selden Arcade, Norfolk, VA
Slinsky, Kier (Ed) 2017. The f/D Book of Pinhole. Cleveland: Suggestive Press.
Kline, Cameron (Ed) 2016. NSEW 2016 Film Shooters Collective. Blurb.