Advanced technology has ushered in a kind of revolution in photography over the years. Today, everyone with a smart phone is photographer.
The professional photographers, however, tend be different and visible by means of creating innovative images and using creative techniques.
Doha-based Mexican artist and photographer Juan Miguel Ramirez aka ‘Icaro’ has long been using watermelons as muse for his photography and digital prints.
He creates ideas and tells stories through pictures taken in digital prints which feature watermelons as models, and objects.
An architect and interior designer by profession, the Mexican artist has been creating dozens of such stories spanning decades.
His works recently displayed at Melody of Art exhibition in Katara denotes connections between the Arab world and Mexican cultures.
He has once again used watermelons to convey his ideas.
“Isn’t it interesting to eat your models after you finishing taking their pictures,” said the Mexican photographer laughingly while talking about using watermelons in his photography to tell different stories.
“I started taking photos when I was only 11 and since then I have fascination with watermelons. We in Mexico love this fruit,” he added.
Icaro, who has been in Qatar for 14 years now, has been carrying forward his association with watermelon photography to be different from other photographer-artists.“I like the fruit because in a way it is similar to humans – red and juicy from inside and sometime sweet,” said the artist laughing.“I use them as watermelons represent different shapes for me such as dhows. I also bring them in my photos to be distinct as an artist.”
The Mexican is stuck with watermelons and has to explain their use in his digital prints to the visitors.“People are amazed and curious when they see my photos. They keep asking me why only watermelons. I have to be there to explain it to them.
I tell them that I consider watermelons very close to humans.
“I use different reflections. I also use mirror paper to create some double representations. People sometime ask me why watermelons are alone in a frame.
"I tell them they are not alone as there is shadow also. We are never alone. Our shadows are always with us.
"I will continue using watermelons as models for my photography. I have found a way to represent people in a different way.”
The novel photographs of Icaro have been gaining appreciation in Qatar.“Many love watermelon photos and appreciate then. This is something new for the people here so I have to explain it to them sometime.
"My photographs are close to surrealistic art. This is to attract people to see beauty of watermelons in a different way.”
The artist is savvy of the advanced technology and has embraced it with open arms.“We cannot deny technological advancement. Old technology of making and preparing photographs was very complicated. Digital revolution is like a magic.
Now, we can have immediate results of our hard work.”
Though the modern technology has made almost everyone a photographer, Icaro banks on being different as a creative artist.“As human beings we are similar yet every individual is different. People see the world around in different ways.
Modern technology provides an opportunity to the people to express their viewpoints and be different from each other.”
The professional architect continues to enjoy his passion for photography.“I have a passion for architectural photography. I have grown in experience. I can make a boring building look attractive through photography. It really is tricky.
You can focus on a beautiful part of the boring building.
"In my photos, there are always some structures alongside watermelons. Photography is a kind of therapy for me.
"When I want to get disconnected, I get involved in the process of expressing my point of view in the surrealistic way.”