Although he started studying Art History and Graphic Design, he became a photographer and art director after a three-year stay in Madrid working with a renowned photographer. Robert Bartholot, established in the cool city of Berlin, has developed and found his own signature expression by shooting the beauty of artificiality in people, objects and textures. He has already participated in art festivals such as OFFF Barcelona and collaborated with UNICEF for girl-empowering projects. We wanted to discover the mind of such an amazing artist, so we decided talked to him. 
Hello, Robert. To introduce yourself, tell us how your daily life is. What’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last one in the night, on a normal day?
Well, I start my day with a strong coffee, a cigarette and another strong coffee; and I end it with a glass of red wine and a cigarette.
You studied Art History, but after working for some time with Spanish photographer Álvaro Villarrubia, you dared to become an artist/photographer yourself. What was it that made you change your mind? When did you know you wanted to start producing art?
Besides my Art History studies, I am also a trained graphic designer. When moving to Madrid, I was suffering a kind of artistic crisis because graphic design didn’t seem to be the right way to express “my art". The change actually happened during my three-year stay in Spain’s capital. In the beginning I was really happy to only assist Álvaro and to not create by myself. However, he, as well as Sergio from SerialCut, kept pushing me to make art myself. It took a while, but I finally made up my mind and started using photography to create images, which turned out to be a lucky step.
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But you didn’t stop there. You're also your own art director, so you control every move and part of the process of your creations. In what sense does being multifaceted help you?
To me it is important to get a coherent result. Therefore, art directing my projects is an important part to keep my signature. It feels more complete to me and it also prevents me from getting bored.
In your opinion, what elements must an image have to be good or beautiful?
Personally, I am very responsive to colours and textures in an image. A good image for me is the one that makes me stop for a moment and touches my senses, heart and intellect.
Imagine the perfect shooting for you, with no boundaries or limits of any kind. How would it be?
It would probably be a disaster. The perfect conditions for me would be limited possibilities and the need to improvise!
"We are exposed to so many images filled with messages that I was looking for imagery that didn’t tell almost anything."
In your pictures, we can see and feel the importance of other creative fields such as sculpture, fashion and graphic design. Where do you look for inspiration, references and influences? 
Actually, I am not looking for inspiration as much as I used to do. Today it’s mostly happening automatically and unconsciously. Contemporary 3D design is something that really resonates with me. In addition, I like to go to museums of all kind. Talking about influences, there are too many to mention them all, so I’ll just name a few: FACE Magazine, the entire history of art, Leigh Bowery, record covers, Álvaro Villarrubia, Irving Penn…
One of your last works, Contemplation matters, captures different materials and substances such as water, sticky and colourful liquids, clouds (or smoke?), pearls, threads… Tell us more about it.
This is a linkAll the images of this work were initially not supposed to be in one series. It was actually a combination of different personal projects I produced throughout 2015 and, somehow, I found out that they were all connected to each other. They are all about surfaces and question authenticity. I wanted to do something very minimalistic, also in terms of storytelling. We are exposed to so many images filled with messages and stories that I was looking for imagery that didn’t tell almost anything, more like a meditation on surfaces and a certain quietness and emptiness of the bodies. It is not about the content or what is behind this surface; it just celebrates the beauty of surfaces.
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The Demiurges series you did for OFFF Festival in Barcelona last year is amazing! The starring characters look like dark deities of creation with their own iconography. What’s the aim behind these images? And why did you choose the objects they carry?
The series Demiurges was developed in collaboration with Sergio del Puerto from SerialCut. We were asked by design studio Vasava to contribute with a series of anonymous characters representing the godfathers of contemporary design for the 15th anniversary book of OFFF Festival in 2015. We decided to create faceless deities with lots of draped fabrics, which is something I do every once in a while. The yellow objects were chosen randomly; we wanted to add some pop to the images to get a less serious and dark result.
Vanished girls is a work you did for UNICEF to help raising social awareness on the millions of girls being murdered, raped, neglected and banned from their rights just for being females. What steps did you take to reflect such a cruel reality? And how did the campaign go?
The UNICEF project was an amazing job. UNICEF usually uses very authentic images. However, we wanted to create imagery that rather looked like promotion for an art exhibition and that talked about the cruelty against girls in a very poetic and stylised way. The campaign got a lot of attention and we made it to the short list at the Cannes Lions 2014 in photography and communication design, and we won the silver medal in photography at the ADC Switzerland award 2014.
We can see you’ve worked a lot since you founded the studio in 2009. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome, so far?
To be honest, the biggest challenge is the suffering that often comes with creation. I know this sounds totally like a cliché and it’s really annoying, but it somehow seems to be important for the process.
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