Tell us a little about your background.
I am 33 years old. I was born in Hondarribia, a small town in Basque Country, Spain. I started studying photography 10 years ago, first in Barcelona, then in New York and finally in Madrid. I’ve done all kinds of photography from fashion to photojournalism. I’m now based in Barcelona where I teach photography and also work as a photographer.
When did you start ‘The men under the influence’ project? What was the idea behind it?
I started the project in 2009 while I was living in New York. I had some conversations with friends about our relationships with women and we all agreed that the balance between men and women had changed. In many countries around the world, women of the previous generations couldn't vote, mostly stayed at home working as housewives, were fewer in number at universities and waited for men to ask them out on a date.
Much has changed since then, at least in the countries where I've lived. While this is really good, at the same time we (young men in heterosexual relationships in developed countries), sometimes feel lost and don't know how to react to certain situations that are new to us because they are different from, for example, the dynamics that existed between our parents.
What were the reactions of the men (who you shot later) when you proposed the idea? Was it easy to get them to pose in their girlfriends’/wives’ clothes?
They are all friends of mine...people who know I’m a photographer and my way of working. So it wasn’t that difficult to get the men. The problem was usually their house where we were planning the shoot. There were many houses that didn’t work out because of the lack of natural light and enough space to shoot.
Were their partners present during the shoot? Did that make them more comfortable?
They were present in most of the shoots and were usually comfortable with the process. The whole situation was fun. In fact, in some cases I had to tone down that good mood because I didn’t want to get funny pictures.
The expressions that most of the men wear are vastly different — lost, conscious and stoic. Was that a conscious attempt or totally natural?
It was totally conscious. As I said before, this project was not a joke, neither was it a drama. I was attempting to represent a sense of loss of reference by the men, so I needed that particular expression on their faces. These are not just portraits and I’m not talking only about the relationships of the particular men who appear in these photos. Like I mentioned before, it's representing the point of view of men in hetrosexual relationships all over the world, in general.
How long did the entire project take? Where were these couples from?
The project took me three years and the photos were taken in the US (New York) and Spain (Barcelona and Madrid).
How was the reception to the photoshoot? What were the reactions of people?
There were different reactions to the photoshoot and the pictures, depending on each couple. Some of them liked them while others didn’t. The process was usually like this: after the photoshoot, I developed, selected and edited pictures of the session. Before uploading it to my website, I would ask the couple if they were comfortable with it. Most of them did not have a problem but a few others didn’t allow me to use the photo after seeing it, even though they had agreed to pose for it before.
Was there a message that you wanted to convey with 'The men under the influence'?
I think the statement of the project sums it up perfectly — 'The men under the influence' addresses the recent change in roles in heterosexual relationships from the relationships of our predecessors and how those changes have affected men in particular. The photos attempt to capture men’s sense of loss of reference now that women have taken a step forward and have finally come into their own as equal partners.
Has your view about gender roles changed after the shoot?
No, it hasn’t. I still have the same doubts and concerns. I don’t take pictures to give answers or solutions to others or even to myself. I do it to represent questions and issues that have no answer to me but I think are important to think about.
If you had to list a kind of photography that you love doing, what would it be? What are your future projects?
I love photography in general, it is my passion. Obviously I prefer shooting my own projects, but I’m also happy taking photos of my family and friends, working on commissions or teaching photography to students.
About my future projects, I just finished a new project titled 'celebriMe' that addresses how photography is used nowadays in social networks and how photos are being used as a trophy to build personalities that may not be as truthful as we would like them to be. You can see it at http://www.jonuriarte.es/index.php?/projects/celebrime/
- The wizard with scissors
- I am unavailable on phone because I'm minding my manners: Superna Motwane
- Critics don't matter: Author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
- The King of Cufflinks
- Are psychics the new detectives?
- Are you a grudging loner?
- Relationship Queries
- The rare and the beautiful
- I'm too sexy for my bling?
- Coca Cola to debut new low-calorie Coke next year
Tell us a little about your background.
As socio-economic dynamics change, women don dual roles as primary nurturers and new breadwinners
Gul Panag, 'Pinkathon' ambassador, talks about running, breast cancer and women in combat
- Capital punishment: Delhi faces President's rule - 1 day ago
- Will dance on 'Besharam' song at Ranbir Kapoor's wedding: Katrina Kaif - 7 hours ago
- After Bullett Raja & R...Rajkumar in two weeks, Sonakshi Sinha has two releases on the same day - 22 hours ago
- Love Salman Khan for promoting 'Dhoom 3' in 'Bigg Boss': Aamir Khan - 7 hours ago
- Narendra Modi is a joker with a dirty mouth: Mani Shankar Aiyar - 16 hours ago