Derrick Santini hails from Scarborough, North Yorkshire and discovered his love for photography at the age of thirteen, whilst taking pictures with his mum’s old Agfa camera. Derrick spent his teenage years recording everything he saw; initially a silent and passive observer, he came to regard the images he took as slices of life, ‘moments in-between’, as statements about the individual, society, culture – and ultimately as an expression of the human condition. This early fascination became a more serious vocation after attending Harrogate College to study for a BTEC in photography, which was followed by a BA (Hons) in ‘Photography and Communication’ at the London College of Communication (formerly LCP). Whilst studying, Derrick rapidly evolved to become an accomplished reportage photographer. Voyeuristic in nature, and taking ultimate pleasure from ‘stolen’ moments, his interest lay in capturing subjects and situations onto which he could project his own intellectual and aesthetic thoughts and fantasies; unbeknownst to those who unwittingly submitted their realities for his surreal re-interpretations. After this initial period prolific in reportage, Derrick’s talent saw him propelled into the fields of portraiture, music photography, fashion and advertising, where he developed a more confrontational approach to image making – one based on interaction and personality.
He soon became renowned for his intimate and insightful portraiture style, particularly within the music industry where there rapidly became a huge demand for his iconic images. About eight years ago Derrick started experimenting with Lenticular photography, culminating in two acclaimed solo shows in London, and numerous other solo and group shows internationally. The lenticular process involves photographing a sequence of still images of live models, which are layered and printed using a special technique, and then placed under a thin ribbed plastic sheet which acts as a lens, thus revealing the full animation within, where the figure in the piece suddenly springs to life and moves with the viewer – Creating a very delicate and hypnotic animation with an illusion of depth and space. Creating images is all about story telling, whether as a stand-alone iconic image, or a series of images, or a film, a natural evolution of the same line of enquiry and my own creative journey. In all these stories there is a truth, be it as abstract as you like, buts its real, and people connect with it. The magic at the time of creating a photograph is the very essence of the art of Photography, all these incredible timeless moments, seen, cajoled spirited but ultimately captured in that split second and thus conceived. But in a way Photography has had its glory days, technology has curtailed its relevance and power, not its beauty or endurance. But in our modern world the still and silent image feels slightly lacking… we want and desire more, content yearns to move and ideally interact. Film is the other medium I love, the power of suggestion and universality of film is awesome, I love the specific-ness of film and equally the abstractness of photography. The Lenticular medium encompasses both these dictums, and hence its growing fascination with me as a unique medium to create and communicate with. Energy, story telling and most importantly interaction are Lenticulars understated and largely un-tapped uniqueness, and although being around for a few decades in their present incarnation and before as diligently laid out strips of folded paper, creating the same kinetic illusion – we are still enthralled. Like a moth to a flame, a ‘Magic Lantern’, Plato’s Cave or a penny flick book we have a very base fascination with flickering moving shapes and images….Lenticulars also have an imbued relevance at this incredible juncture of the human condition; like us, they are caught between these two worlds, two realities. We are all looking into the mirror whilst staring into the void, just like the lines that split the lenticular lens into opposing realities, or fused dreams. What appears as something is suddenly something else; cause and effect, the matrix, modernity.
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