5 & 3/4 Questions

 

JUSTIN DINGWALL

CURRENT RESIDENCE: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: SOUTH AFRICA

justindingwall.com / behance.net/justindingwall

1. Describe yourself and your work.

I am a South Africa–born photographic artist based in Johannesburg. After graduating cum laude in from Tshwane University of Technology in 2004 with a bachelor of technology degree in photography, I started off as a photographic assistant and worked my way up to become a commercial and advertising, as well as fine art, photographer.

I have a passion to explore avenues less traveled, and the desire to create images that resonate with emotion.

My work has been described as “striking portraits that have shaped contemporary portrait photography in South Africa and beyond.” That is what I aim to do, to bring something interesting and engaging to contemporary portraiture with topics that I feel are important and relevant to be discussed through art. In borrowed words, I believe that you do not need to scream to get your message across—I work with subtle metaphors and enigmatic symbolism. My aim is to create an intimacy and engagement with the perspectives surrounding the topics that I deal with. As I have said before...my images are not about race or fashion, but about perception, and what we subjectively perceive as beautiful. I want to create series of images that resonate with humanity and make people question their own perspectives.

2. How did you get started?

I have always been very artistic, but the first time I picked up a camera was at the age of 18 when I applied to Tshwane University of Technology.

3. Which of your pieces/projects best represents you and why?

There is no one piece or one series that represents me. My work represents the world around me and my attempt at trying to understand it. It is my way of working through my perceptions of society. My work is a constant process of learning.  

 

4. Describe your proudest achievement. 

Some of my proudest achievements are shooting for Adobe and working with 48 other artists from around the world to create a create a mosaic that was exhibited at New York City’s Lincoln center for the launch of Adobe Creative Cloud, as well as being flown to Hollywood to photograph world-renowned model Tyra Banks for the cover of the 100th issue of Remix magazine—this was definitely one of my biggest achievements so far and one I am so honored to have been a part of.

5. What are some of your current obsessions?

My current obsession is denim jackets and finding ways that I can make them my own by customizing them using pins and distressing the fabric, etc.

5 1/4. If you could meet any artist (living or dead) for a coffee or a beer and a chat, who would it be?

It would defiantly have to be Richard Avedon! That would have been a dream come true.

5 1/2. What book are you currently recommending to friends?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson

5 3/4. What's the last thing that made you laugh really hard

When my wife and I were playing Monopoly Deal, and she was continually kicking my butt. I had a choice between tears or laughter, and I chose both.