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ArtFactory Apr 8, 2018 5:50:02 PM 2 min read

ART WALK 2018 CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT - Michael Paras

Where were you raised? Astoria & Flushing, NYC

Can you paint a picture of your childhood? Raised in a Greek immigrant family of 4 with an older sister

Did you always create art as a kid, or did you come to it later in life? Always created art, spent countless hours drawing.  My father was an artist and dancer and he was always painting!

Which artists have influenced your work? Why and how? Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Norman Rockwell, Diego Rivera, Edward Hopper, Claude Monet

I always loved the simplicity of their work and immediate honest feeling I got viewing it.

Any other influences (people, places, ideas)? Parents, My Greek Heritage, Growing up in NYC, Basketball, Friends, Art

Tell me about your practice—how do you generate ideas, what medium do you use? Photography and my ideas come from my past experiences and all the people I interact with.  

Is your art more concept-driven or image-driven? Both I’m always thinking concept trying to tell a story and totally motivated by the light, design, and graphics of the image.

Why do you make the art you make? My passion for photography and creating stories.  I’m a basketball nut and just love creating images of basketball hoops.  The graphics of basketball hoop and its environment speaks to me at some many levels.  When I’m shooting hoops I’m transported to my childhood and can hear the ball bouncing while I shoot!

Does your art influence your life, and vice versa? I eat, sleep and breath photography.  It’s how I survive!  

What do you think about the notion "the lonely artist"? I think to create you need to be within your own head and be totally focused and to some extent that can be a lonely place.

Does your art connect you to the world in some way, or does it help you navigate the world? Totally I see the world through art and I see beauty and light in difficult things where people are seeing despair.  The great thing about photography I’m able to physically show people what I’m seeing and composing in my head.

Do you make art for yourself or other people? I make it for myself and if you have a distinct voice and a vision people join in on the pleasure.

What purpose do you think art serves today? Many purposes on all levels.  The most important purpose art serves is to help people visualize things in a different way and perspective.  Helping to open people minds to the complexity of life.