Finally, we had the chance to interview Pablo Garcìa Contreras, managing editor of the fabulous Solar Magazine. Pablo is a photographer and a film maker, He’s 22 and he’s a proud Gemini. Right now he’s in Mexico for his vacations but he’s based in Milan, studying at NABA.
Œ: Thank you Pablo for this interview, How is your summer going?
Pablo: My pleasure. My summer’s going pretty smoothly so far, I came home to Mexico to be with my friends and family for a while and I’m currently on a trip in Guatemala, can’t complain!
Œ: Do you miss Milan?
Pablo: Ooh this is a hard question. I don’t necessarily miss Milan, I’ve only been gone for a few weeks now and being home is always nice, but at the same time I do miss having my own place and I miss some of my friends. But for now I’m fine being in Mexico for another while.
Œ: Your works are always eclectic and on point, how would you define your artistic process?
Pablo: Thank you so much! I think my artistic process varies depending on the project/type of project. I usually see something that inspires me, not something directly linked to anything, it’s usually something strange, like a commercial, or a photo in a catalog, or a person doing something random on the street, and it will stick in my mind for whatever reason, and then I’ll probably be in the shower and will start getting all these wild ideas that I have to write down as soon as I get out of the shower. Then I start coming up with the actual concept for it, how I will execute it (photo, video, etc), and then once I start coming up with something solid I’ll probably forget about it for a few days/weeks/months. Then one day I will dream about it and wake up feeling inspired and thinking, “I actually have to do this now,” and I will make myself do it and, well, that’s basically it.
Œ: What are your plans for the future?
Pablo: I can’t talk about a lot of them, but I can give you some details: I just directed a fashion film at a beautiful villa outside of Milan, I’m art directing a couple of shoots here in Mexico and photographing another 2-3 shoots, and I’m working on a short film that I will direct on the coast of Mexico. Can’t give too much details but that’s the gist of it.
Œ:How long have you been working with Solar Magazine?
Pablo: I’m going into my third year at the magazine now, actually! Seems like I’ve been there forever but it feels like I started working there yesterday… I think what really attracted me to the magazine when I was contacted by the EIC was how it was something I had never seen before. Yes, there are a lot of big magazine/books, but they all seem to have a very similar formula. They all feature beautiful, visually breathtaking editorials, but many of them lack any sort of actual substance. What Solar has is that it has an amazing mission statement (I actually accepted the job after reading the Editor’s Letter from Issue 1, which gave me chills and you can read here)– it’s the first independently published fashion, art and lifestyle publication for men and women in Spanish (with English translations in the back) with global distribution. The idea came to mind when Mexican, born Spaniard, Igor Ramírez, the current Editor in Chief, and American born Mexican Michaela Dosamantes, the Fashion Director, met through mutual friends and talked about the fact that there are no current magazines in the market originally dedicated for Spanish speakers–there are licenses (Vogue in Spanish, Elle in Spanish, etc), but no magazine that was originally founded by Spanish speakers for Spanish speakers. So it has an amazing and vibrant hispanic essence and vibe that is just missing in so many publications. It has a life and a voice of its own and it’s sexy and it’s artsy and this amazing feeling permeates each page and is dripping from every word. It’s so in-depth as well, it’s not just editorials, we’ve covered everything from world renown architects to local, smaller musicians.
Œ: How is the menswear changing in the last few years, for you?
Pablo: Men’s fashion has seen an extraordinary change the last few years. The thing is, men’s fashion has always been incredibly boring in my opinion, because of our society’s fear to dive into femininity when it doesn’t directly concern women. That’s why, as men, we’ve been stuck with ill fitting pants and jackets, and ugly shirt patterns. The world is finally opening up and realizing the huge untapped market that is men’s fashion, and the hunger that men (lead by gay/trans/gender nonconforming men) have for something more, something new, something different. We have brands like Palomo Spain who are redefining our concept of masculinity, Lazo Schmidl who’s bringing back women’s 90’s fashion through menswear, hell, even Sebestien Meunier’s work for Anne Demeulemeester has been phenomenal. The gender revolution has finally reached the fashion industry, and it’s about time. On the other hand, there’s the boom in streetwear–a much more masculine approach to menswear for the guys who aren’t into more tailored/elegant fashion but still want to dress different/fashionably.
Œ:We know that Solar Magazine was one of the first to publish Kito Munoz works, what do you think was his impact in contemporary fashion photography?
Pablo: I think he has, in his own way, redefined what fashion photography is. It’s no longer about glossy editorials anymore, it’s about telling a story through the photos. The very intense homoeroticism helps, of course. The thing is that a lot of people just see the final product of Kito’s images, which are already so breathtaking, but for the feature he shot with Filip Custic for our second issue I got to see (not physically unfortunately) the shoot throughout every stage, from concept to photograph, and I was honestly amazed at how crazy these two guys were. They did this editorial with mirrors, but the mirrors are invisible, and they built this set with a shoestring budget, and it’s just so hard to put into words. I just think Kito has an incredibly ambitious vision that he can make come to life regardless of the means, and you can tell from just looking at his work.
Œ: What’s your biggest style icon?
Pablo: This is a tough one. I have so, so many. My whole persona is built around a myriad of style icons, and depending on the day I lean more towards some than the others. I think today I will have to go with Chloe Sevigny. Tomorrow I’d probably say Betty Catroux.
Œ: What was your latest project that you worked to?
Pablo: I have a stream of recent unpublished projects that will be coming out soon, but my most recent published project would have to be an editorial I shot for Solar (how strange!) with the models for Federico Curradi’s A/W 18 show in Milan.
Œ: There’s always a 2000s reference in your personal style, Do you think it will be a hot trend in the future?
Pablo: Oh yes, definitely. There’s only so much you can do to be revolutionary and different. The only way to envision the future (be it in fashion trends or otherwise) is to borrow from the past. And what better past to take from than the 2000s, the peak of trashy fashion and questionable icons!
Œ: What’s your biggest dream?
Pablo: I’m scared of failure, so I think I just want to be successful in my field. Not successful in regards of fame and/or riches, but successful in that I want to be doing projects I’m truly passionate about and that have meaning. I’m terrified of spending my life doing film and/or photography gigs just for the money.
Œ: Do you prefer photography or film directing?
Pablo: These questions are so hard! Hahaha. I can’t say I prefer one over the other, but if I absolutely had to I would say film directing. However, I love the more hands on approach about photography, so it’s a close call, but definitely film directing.
Œ: What’s your favorite photographer?
Pablo: I have so many that I’m going to stick to current living influences. I really admire the work of Yann Faucher and Ethan James Green, and I don’t know if she counts as a photographer but I really want to mention Natasha Brier, the most badass cinematographer working in the field right now. I’d love for her to do the cinematography of a film of mine someday.
Œ: What are the brand that are really changing the fashion game for you?
Pablo: It’s the age of the queers, so I’m gonna have to go with Lazo Schmidl, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Harris Reed, and Palomo Spain. Honorable mention to New York darlings LUAR and AREA.
Œ: “The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”
How would you comment to this quote from Scott Lorenzo?
Pablo: I hate this quote. The whole purpose of taking a photograph is to capture a moment… it’s not about imagination or reality, at least not entirely about that, it’s about capturing the ephemeral; capturing a feeling, something that evokes a sense of anything, really, in the viewer. A photograph is the romanticization of a moment.
You can discover more about Pablo Garcìa Contreras on Instagram clicking here