Harnessing her creativity and skills in multiple fields, Rocio Montoya converges photography with art and fashion to create surreal and experimental works. Inspired at a tender age, Rocio’s diverse portfolio investigates and documents the transient nature of humans and occurrences through aesthetic manipulations encapsulating them in haunting yet elegant mannerisms.
Rocio, you are a woman of many hats. Would you mind introducing yourself and tells us what particularly drew you towards fashion and design?
I'm from Madrid, the city where I currently live and work. I work as a graphic editor for a national newspaper and I combine photography with graphic and editorial design. I was born into a family of artists. My father is a painter and he has always been an inspiring figure in my life. I guess it was a natural process, without realizing I grew up with an intrinsic feeling for the pursuit of beauty.
My artistic interests have always been focused on conceptual photography. It has always haunted me, the quest for beauty and fashion has allowed me to reflect my vision and discover endless aesthetic possibilities. I went into the field of editorial design when I founded Doze Magazine an adventure which has given me a lot of knowledge and helped me meet other wonderful artists. It has been very rewarding.
I am currently working with experimental portrait through collage. This visual technique has caught my whole attention and I’m very excited about this new discovery. I find it very stimulating to intervene my own photographs through collage; I think it is the culmination of a new creative phase.
Starting up Doze Magazine must have been quite exciting, what was the process like? And if you don't mind me asking, what caused its closure?
Yeah, totally. It has been the largest project in which I was involved and I learned a lot with this professional experience. The editorial design fascinates me; in Doze I was able to capture many ideas and graphic concepts, plus meet a lot of artists and wonderful people along the way. Sadly enough, we closed in June 2014 after four years of existence. The main reason that led us to this decision was the lack of financial means to continue the project. At the moment it is closed but not ruled out, there’s a possibility we come back stronger in the future.
How would you describe the art and photography you create and capture?
I think my work is quite symbolic, oblivious to reality. I’m always looking to find beauty in everything and everywhere and capture this search through aesthetic experiences.
Your works seem to draw towards a mix of minimalism, surrealism and abstraction. Is it a style that developed naturally or did you draw inspiration elsewhere?
I seek inspiration in the fine arts (painting, film, literature, music) as well as in the everyday life, constantly trying to project my own vision of beauty through disturbing atmospheres. I think there are times you need to put everything upside down in order to discover the extraordinary dimensions of reality, often unnoticed because of our daily routines. My love for surrealism has taken me to represent oneiric moments, like mirages of dreams.
What is your creative process like? Do you plan what the final result will look like or is it a bit more experimental than that?
It really depends on the moment and the project. Normally (and it’s always the case when it’s a fashion editorial) I usually prepare the concept previously, before starting to work. Seeking references, model, location, etc. I am a very impulsive person but I like living in my own organized chaos. However, I recognize some of my preferred pictures have gestated through improvisation, just like that.
When I produce personal work, such as collages for example, if timing allows it and ideas emerge through experimentation, it's fun!
What are you seeking to communicate and achieve through your art?
I am restless and move through impulses. My creations arise from my need of having to feel alive. To me, photography and art are an escape, a balm to relieve the distress caused by routine.
Right now, my main interest is focused on the deconstruction of the human body, as well as the deconstruction of my photographic portraits through collage, mixed with elements of nature under the concept of loss of identity. My intention is to evoke in the viewer feelings of bewilderment through the disturbing visual atmospheres. I like to think that my images are like mirages to other parallel realities, open to multiple interpretations.