“Photography was something that I believe found me,” says Federico Rekowski. Having purchased his first camera back in 2005, and dabbling with the concept of photography, Rekowski say that these were his early days of visual exploration, and that he “merely took pictures, not photographs”. But it wasn’t until his sister gifted him her Canon 5D Mark II, almost a decade later, that he discovered that there was a great deal more to photography than simply taking pretty pictures. “I believe from that moment photography found me and I found my voice in this exciting medium,” he says.
Attracted to shooting landscapes and what the natural environment had to offer, after a few years, Rekowski’s desire to tell stories grew and he wanted to push boundaries, to explore and create surreal worlds within our reality, and create visual narratives. “With my constant appetite to learn, push boundaries, and challenge my creativity, both in-camera and in post-production, the progression from landscapes to illustrative photography seemed like a natural one for my photography,” he says. “Here, I could blend reality and create surreal worlds with dynamic abstractions by using and applying multiple techniques to create visual narratives.” Rekowski admits that motion blur is probably his favourite. “I think it simplifies the image and creates an aesthetic tension that I love,” he says.
City of Sorrows is a series that Rekowski is currently working on. The personal body of work delves into the dark world of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and how people lose themselves in overcrowded cities. Shot entirely in black and white, he says that the work has a film noir style, layered with multiple techniques, to create artistic narrative experiences to convey the pessimism, fatalism, and menace of the world within dynamic abstract compositions. “I hope that I am successful in my execution of visually interpreting the strong messages each image conveys to better understand the complexities of mental health and the effects it has on all of us,” he says.
With an impressive list of awards and accolades behind him, some of Rekowski’s latest include being named winner of the Illustrative category and Top 10 in Landscape of the Australian Photography Awards, winning Silver with Distinction and two Silver awards at the AIPP APPAs and a Gold and three Silver awards at the NSW AIPP State Awards, as well as being AIPP NSW Emerging Photographer of the Year, all in 2019. The same year he also placed in the Top 10 for the Architecture and Art categories of Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers. In 2018, he was AIPP NSW Emerging Photographer of the Year and was a finalist in the Landscape category of Head On, amongst other awards.
Seeing photography as an expression of himself, it’s Rekowski’s love and passion for the medium that sees him picking up the camera. “It is when I am the most content,” he says. “And I have only just scratched the surface to what is still out there to learn and to photograph.”
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