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Sonia Gouveia: a photographer who explores the emptiness of the collective experience

In this interview, the brazilian artist talks about her work in blockchain photography for the NFoTo collection, her references, her creative process and her plans for the future

Observation Tower #2 by Sonia Gouveia

Sonia Gouveia (SP) is a photographer, architect and urban planner who explores different themes in her works. She works in various fields and styles of photography, from capturing architecture to portraying human relations or the visual nuances of everyday life. Her photographic works have been exhibited in different shows throughout Brazil.

Aware of the new possibilities and technological trends, Sonia entered the blockchain photography scene by launching her first photographs with this technology that makes digital items unique. In this interview, she talks about her journey in photography, what she thinks about NFTs, her creative process and plans for 2023.

Sonia Gouveia is one of the artists who participate in the NFoTo collection, a project that aims to promote and disseminate Brazilian photography through blockchain technology and NFTs, as well as to innovate and explore the new value of photography with NFTs and AI.

Check it out below, enjoy reading.

See more in the NFoTo collection by clicking here >>> NFoTo Collection - Collection | OpenSea

NFoTo - Tell us about yourself in photography! What drives you to create with photos?

Sonia Gouveia - My background is architecture. I have always been interested in photography, first as a tool for documentation and study, then as a language. I took several courses to enhance my technical skills, language and repertoire in visual arts. My master’s dissertation, by the way, is about architectural photography. Naturally, based on my background, my authorial work focused a lot on street and architectural photography. From 2019 onwards, I started to develop a more conceptual work.

NFoTo - What can you tell us about your images in the NFoTo collection?

Sonia Gouveia - The series “Empty Audience” and “Observation Towers” were developed on a recent trip to Germany. The first one emerged when photographing empty stands. Capturing these uninhabited public spaces made me think of the emptiness of the collective experience. Not only in physical terms, as a result of the pandemic times, but also in relation to the shift of the collective experience from the physical to the digital world. And also, the theme of loneliness appears in the large number of empty chairs lined up - it is about being among many, and still being alone. “Observation Towers” also addresses the emptied collective experience and isolation. It is a reflection on the relationship between the users of the tower and the surrounding city. The tower here is interpreted as the transition from Charles Baudelaire’s flâneur - that figure who walks through the city, in order to experience it - to the voyeur. Voyeurism is understood here as the act of observing people from afar, without the subject interacting with the object.

The Empty Audience #1 by Sonia Gouveia

NFoTo - What are your references and how do you get inspired when photographing?

Sonia Gouveia - My entry into photography was through college. Cristiano Mascaro was a great reference, both visually and theoretically. His sensitivity to photographing the city and its architecture are fascinating. Within street photography I also highlight Henri Cartier-Bresson, another reference from my early days in photography. The technical rigor and precision of Nelson Kon’s architectural photography is also an inspiration, as well as the experiments and compositional studies of photographers from Bauhaus and Russian avant-gardes, such as László Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Rodchenko.

NFoTo - What do you want for your work in photography for the future? Why does it matter?

Sonia Gouveia - There are many issues around technology that are under development. These movements are very healthy, to stimulate debate and bring new perspectives. I plan to explore creatively the new tools, seeking to develop an authorial work that combines photography, let’s say, conventional, and content creation through artificial intelligence, expanding creative possibilities. I believe in the communion of digital with physical, to enhance each other’s strengths. I am, first of all, an enthusiast of the act of photographing itself, and I wish this communion, so that the essence of the creative process is preserved, and that technology expands its possibilities. With the power of new tools, I understand that it will be feasible to reach a larger consumer audience of art, in different contexts and places, thus increasing the visibility of my work.

Observation Tower #1 by Sonia Gouveia

NFoTo - What do you find most fascinating about the possibilities with blockchain photography?

Sonia Gouveia - What draws my attention is the possibility of reaching different audiences with my work. It opens up a huge window to project the work in other markets. And what is most interesting is the control that the artist maintains over his/her work, which is an evolution in the art market, and is very positive.

NFoTo - Does Brazilian photography need to be seen by the world? Why?

Sonia Gouveia - Brazilian photography deserves to be seen by the world for its richness, complexity and thematic variety. Brazil is a multicultural country with a vast and diverse artistic production in various fields. Brazilian photography expresses this diversity and quality.

See more in the NFoTo collection by clicking here >>> NFoTo Collection - Collection | OpenSea

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