The Photography of Riccardo Arriola

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My name is Riccardo Arriola, my photographic studio is called Grand Studio Atelier, my photographic lab is called Laboratoire Photographique L’Image Redécouverte… And like most of the children I also went to school too. I am 24 years old and I think I have been well educated.

My passion for photography started when I was 18 years old and I was a complete noob. I really liked the simple fact of capturing an instant in a frame… 6 years later I am learning the mythical process of daguerreotype and platinum palladium.

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Over the years my passion for photography and film cameras has led me to not even have a sentimental partner because my real passion in life is the photographic laboratory, the latent image and all the old processes. I am very passionate, I decided to devote my whole life to them, if I were not a chemical photographer, I think I would have already thrown myself off my fourth floor balcony. In 2017 the Grand Studio Atelier is established, motivated by the simple fact that in Mexico City it is a Greek odyssey the simple fact of decently developing a simple C 41 (color) cartridge. Other processes do not exist, so close to the USA and so far from Kodak. So the Studio Atelier is based on, firstly, revealing my own material at home and if someone else wants to try to reveal it with a young apprentice alchemist, I humbly offer my services.

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I am a student of cinematography at the CCC but more than anything a self-taught person. I must be the most boring person, I only speak of photography, light, or shadows, paintings from time to time, with a slight touch of melancholy.

The Grand Studio is an international headquarter for all those professionals who are passionate about photography. Here, it does not matter who we are but what we achieve with the use of a camera and a photo sensitive support. The doors of my studio in Coyoacán are open to anyone interested in preserving photography.

I started in photography in the way that almost everyone I know has done it; with a Pentax K1000. Now I occupy the finest instruments, I handle all the formats; 35, 120 and 4×5, 16 mm and s8.

I see photography as an expressive and narrative medium. In a certain therapeutic degree, without joking, if I were not a photographer or photography had not come to my life, I would not have any benefit on this planet. Photography has saved me from the worst depressions, and has given me the greatest pleasures, I owe my whole life.

I quote Jean Cocteau; “Everything depends on the order in which reality is cut, assembled and becomes your reality.”

Photography has the privilege of being able to make the unreal real and transform the imagination into acts.

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Process or thought to achieve your concepts.
I consider myself a man who uses all the resources of his genius and his hands at the service of the spirit.

I live life, I fall in love with pretty girls, I imagine stories with unthinkable endings, I see a movie and out of nowhere I can think of something to do. Or when I want to achieve a visual impact or a speech, I put my ingenuity and eyes to work to communicate with the outside world.María-Teresa-PDF-2

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What inspires you?
Very difficult to answer.

To begin with I would say that part of my photographic work now is influenced by the Studium and Punctum. Concepts that Roland Barthes defines in his book Lucid Camera, the first as, universal meaning of photography, closely linked to the cultural and social aspect of the person who perceives it, is rational and ducted to known to all values, “meanings that are nameable, cultural meanings given that we understand at once”. And Punctum; It is personal, plays more on the unconscious ground, it is not intentional and depends on the viewer, a detail that attracts me, his mere presence changes my reading, looking at a photograph from my eyes with a higher value, which pricked me, personally memory based not on the public file but a private repertoire.

I consider myself a very creative person and since I can remember I spent countless hours creating stories in my head, dreaming and being happier in my dreams and unrealities that in my reality. My work owes a lot to a lot of people engaged in the arts and not just photographers, but painters, sculptors, writers, poets, and varieties. I say this because thanks to my imagination I create things inside my head and later I can create something, based on anything; a song, a phrase, a word, an adjective, an instant, a letter. Photographs, smiles and laughs owe much to painters like; Degas, Pissarro, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Lautrec, Renoir, Cézanne, Schiele.

Photographers like; Helmut Newton, Sam Haskins, David Hamilton, Man Ray, Jeanloup Sieff, Ellen Von Unwerth, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts, Edward Weston, Andre Kertesz. Sculptors; Canova and Maillol. Men of letters like; George Bataille, Marquis of Sade, Joseph Kessel, Pablo Neruda, the Surrealist Manifesto. A musicians; Miles Davis, Joaquin Sabina, The Doors. My work owes a special mention to Alberto Vargas because of his Pin-Up. As my education is to cinematographer I owe a lot to film people; Godard, Marker, Truffaut, Huston, Polanski, Almendros, Coutard.

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It’s our great pleasure to share the words and images of an talented photographer from Mexico, Riccardo Arriola in this little interview. You can view more of his works at his website at