By Amanda Nordqvist
Portuguese artist Igor Pjörrt, currently based in London, creates modernly soft fine art – warmth and delicacy seeming the main theme to a lot of his art work. Igor already has, at only 20 years old, several publications to his name, and his outstanding work allows for an intimacy with the masculine that we rarely get to see.
How were you introduced to the arts, Igor?
As a millennial I grew up having access to an overwhelming amount of (visual) information to the point where it stopped being fascinating and became nauseating instead. This heightened my need for being in charge of images and the context they’re put into until I wasn’t any longer curating random blogs with visual content but impulsively creating my own, which felt like I was finally telling a story in my own words.
Would you say your artistic style has changed significantly from when you first started?
Definitely. I used to be so much more interested in landscapes, especially human altered landscapes - which is something I’m coming back to now. I photographed roads and buildings impulsively and avoided people because I felt too immature to capture their essence.
What impact has your education in the arts had on your art work?
Studying for a year in Switzerland taught me to be self-questioning and self-critical, which I have become a lot. For a period of time this was launched to an unhealthy level but I’ve since then managed to separate myself from my work to a certain extent and not be so harsh on myself, otherwise it’s too painful and there’s no meaning in doing what I do any longer.
Would you describe your creating process for me?
I rarely ever actively look for a picture or go to great lengths to get one. For me photographing is environmental and spontaneous which in turn makes me nervous about schedules. That’s part of my struggle with filmmaking as well. In the UK we are taught such an overly orthodox approach to film that can easily compromise its authenticity. And although it can, after all, be much more stable to be in charge of everything I also feel something is lost along the way. I think what I’m most afraid of having to give up in the process is individuality and intimacy.
What is your biggest inspiration when creating?
For me music has always complemented pictures. At its core it’s something visual so together it can introduce another dimension to an image - can take it further. That’s also what drew me to filmmaking. I got really interested in how background noise and silence can add to a scene or how music can sometimes take away from it too.
What can you tell me about your Betelgeuse series?
It follows a story that I first told out of impulse, completely oblivious to the responsibilities that came with it. A year later I was being told I was doing courageous work while I felt so reserved; ironically, I had really stripped myself through my boyfriend but ultimately my sense of power and liberation came from that vulnerability. Looking back on the first part of the series (Betelgeuse Book) I saw a clear evolution happening so quickly. I became afraid that I was doing something inconsistent until with time it only made sense to embrace this maturing aspect of the series. Today I feel it’s transgressed into a place I can always go back to, one of safety and comfort. In the end it says so much about me but also nothing at all, and I think most of the pleasure has always been in that secretive nature of these pictures.
Lastly, do you have any advice for other young artists out there?
Take your time.