KENNY HURTADO (Los Angeles, USA)
Kenny Hurtado is a Los Angeles based photographer. Born in Los Angeles County in 1982. He began his path as a photographer interning at a Surfing publication in 2003 which led to a staff position from 2004-2007, he left the magazine in 2007 and began his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute under Henry Wessel and Linda Connor. The experience studying under those photographers pushed him to think further and develop projects outside of his previous interests. Since 2011 Kenny Hurtado has photographed, exhibited and published globally.
When I was 10 years old my Mother told me she envisions me living a simple quiet life in the woods of Northern California. I never thought much of it until I started visiting the landscape 20 years later. My First trip was in 2013. I kept returning soon after, following a feeling I simply had about the place and with my Mothers words in my head. My Mother passed away in April of 2017. My trips north after her passing seemed to have gained a new perspective and clarity. I slowly began to realize what she meant. The more I visit and spend time in Northern California the more I see my own self in the landscape and amongst the people who live there. It’s a place of isolation, the antisocial and people who just want to connect to the land. Throughout the last few years, I’ve noticed a change in the landscape. Smoky air quality seems to be the norm. Warmer weather due to the change in climate has altered parts of the landscape, grassy hillsides are now brown and fragile, dense green forests are black and sickened by fires. There’s also a new influx of people moving in to take advantage of the legalization of marijuana. The landscape is slowly being altered; the more I visit the more I feel like a true outsider. To me the trust of the people has changed and is quickly evolving for better or worse.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
Working with an analogue process on medium format film helps me slow down and be patient while observing the light and environment and helps me to get closer emotionally to the subject. The not knowing process of film allows me to work more freely and react to certain situations based off instinct and opens the door to surprise.