I grant you permission to take a moment from your day to stop and meet a good friend of mine. He’s one of those weirdos that you meet in life and you just hang on to because nobody else inspires you quite like they do. He’s an artist who speaks his mind and sees beauty in strange places. He’s an ingenious inventor and a good time. Not only is he a great date to take to the beach but he is also one of the best photographers I’ve met. And in my line of work, I’ve met a lot of photographers. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, one of Malta’s most in demand photogs, Federico Peltretti.
I had the pleasure of viewing Federico’s latest project, Old Women, New Romanticism, a black and white film project alluding to the great works by artists Truffaut and Fritz Lang – two of Federico’s biggest inspirations. He enchanted an audience at “Meet the Artists of the International Art Collective III” in Le Meridien Hotel & Spa, St Julians, Malta – curated by Claude Camilleri – with his screening of Old Women, New Romanticism.
Taking place on a beach at Coney Island and in Federico’s dark studio, he mastered up some of his greatest work and created this sensual film noir project. His models in their most gritty rawness danced through fragmented, discontinued editing in a documentary style series.
As Federico and I drank on the beach under the hot Mediterranean sun, I asked him some questions and here’s what he had to say…
CMC: What are your top 3 priorities in life?
Federico: Freedom, love, and health
CMC: What does “being creative” mean to you?
Federico: To use our brain more and have fantasies.
CMC: What do you find yourself trying to communicate with your art?
Federico: My art is a form of poetry in its beauty. It captures the feeling that your mind is traveling through the art which gives it that poetic feeling.
CMC: Where do you go to get inspired?
Federico: They say the best place to get inspired in life is taking a shit. But you can be inspired everywhere, it depends on whether or not you react to it. Of course if you live in a big city, there are so many things that keep your brain busy so maybe then you would need to go to a forest or somewhere with trees to help your brain think clearly. But here in Malta, I don’t go anywhere. I get inspired everywhere.
CMC: Where is your favorite place to drink a bottle of wine?
Federico: Outside under a tree or on the beach by the sea. Somewhere with nice food.
CMC: Can you describe the time when you first picked up a camera and started experimenting with photography? What inspired you to do so?
Federico: When I was six years old, my father gave me a camera. Photography was my fathers hobby so I always saw cameras as a child. My first good photo was a panorama of the sea.
CMC: Tell me about “Old Women, New Romanticism.” What gave you the idea? Did it turn out the way you had hoped or did it change along the way?
Federico: It is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It went exactly the way I planned.
CMC: What do you consider your biggest achievement?
Federico: It’s always nice when people look at my work and see what I see – when they understand the message.
CMC: Describe your ideal working atmosphere.
Federico: I can work anywhere it doesn’t matter. My house has always been my studio as well so I enjoy working there.
CMC: On a scale of 1 to 10, how intolerable do you find baby pictures on Facebook?
Federico: I think it’s very bad and I don’t think you should be allowed to post baby photos on Facebook. There are pedophiles out there and your baby deserves privacy.
CMC: What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
Federico: The camera… and also my eyes.
CMC: What’s your art-world pet peeve?
Federico: I believe that it’s good to be inspired but copying other work is unacceptable. It shows your lack of creativity and that you’re not an artist.
CMC: What does photography give you that nobody or nothing else in this world can give you?
Federico: I see things you don’t see and then I can freeze them in time.
CMC: Are there any other art forms that give you this?
Federico: Yea everything, especially drawing.
CMC: Today, with as much information as we have available through books and the Internet, do you think it’s more beneficial to be self-taught or to take classes in the arts? How did you get started?
Federico: Classes can teach you new techniques so I think they are very beneficial. I should have gone to an art school. If I have a child one day, I would love for them to go to an art school.
CMC: What music do you prefer listening to when editing?
Federico: I listen to everything from Billy Holiday to punk rock to heavy metal…
CMC: Who was your favorite Spice Girl.
Federico: At that time, Scary. But now I would take the whole package.
CMC: If you could pick any company to use your art for their commercial purposes, what company would you choose?
Federico: Bulgari or Patek Phillipe. But my watch is the biggest in the world. It is called “Sun.”
CMC: Finally, if you were a brand, what would be your motto?
Federico: “Cash in Mano e vai lontano”