Vivek Mathew’s tryst with photography began with a simple thought – capturing the brilliance of a moment. Doing what he does best, Vivek today, has travelled the world and experienced the essence of life, through his camera lenses. And it is an addiction he never wants to get over.
Having completed his education at Asia’s top notch institution – The Light and Life Academy, Ooty – Vivek has gone on to bring life into Fine Art, Architecture, Travel, Nature, People and Interiors, through his photography. Considered as one of the “Young and Unusual” photographers of today by the India Today Magazine, he has also been featured in prestigious publications – The Times Journal of Photography, Time Out, Design Today, Better Interiors, National Geographic Traveller India, Forbes India, Smart Photography, Bangalore Mag, The Times of India, Femina, Classic Imaging and Women’s Wear Daily -New York
Adding perspective to his works are his exhibitions, which have brought to light several aspects of daily life. I.Opener in 2005 at the ‘Renaissance Gallerie’ focused on subjects ranging from still life to portraits to exteriors, as Waterborne in 2007 at ‘Industree’, experimented with ripples, reflections and patterns. His third exhibition at ‘Sublime’, UB City in 2011 – Canvas wall – was inspired by the rustic and the crude. His fourth exhibition, Perfect Imperfections, in February 2015 at the ‘Art of Delight’ dealt with nature and man-made pattern. His fifth and the most recent show, Yesterday Once More, in March 2017 at ‘Venkatappa Art Gallery’ was an array of architectural windows, chronicling time and stories, from different cities.
Why are you a photographer?
I loved seeing pictures as a child & loved how moments were captured and lasts forever like for example your parents wedding or your 3rd birthday party or your summer holiday as a kid & these moment can never be captured again. This got me interested in photography & I wanted to capture images which I see in my everyday life. So photography is my form of communication to the world & how I see life around me.
Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
I remember walking into family or friends parties as a kid & begging them to give me their cameras so that I can take pictures of the event. Those moments I remember I didn’t want to do anything else but to be a photographer as a kid itself. I think capturing the moment was something I enjoyed at that time & I still do. The decision I made as a kid that I wanted to take up photography as a career & I got a chance to follow my dreams.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My mom Valsa Mathew who is no more now. I liked her for her integrity & grace & honesty.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
Pallon Daruwala & Paul Liebhardt. Both of them are great human beings who have guided me in my career & I love both their unique style in their photography. I met both of them when I was a student at the Light & Life Academy,Ooty & they came to teach a course there. I love both their works & a big fan of them. I look up to them even now & get guided by them from time to time
How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
Digital cameras are more affordable to many people & many people taking it as a hobby as compared to the days of film.
Good art direction/execution is very important to get great images. I have worked with many people but just a few of them are brilliant which results to great images. I feel it’s a few people who you have a great connection & also understand your work & style adds to giving you great images which lasts for a long time
What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
I feel there is downfall past few years that is related to print advertising. You don’t have many good art directors to work with. I work at the moment with small design firms, Architects & direct clients. I get the freedom to create images the way I like & most important is that the clients understand my work & give me the freedom with their brief given to me .
So over the past few years I have just worked with a few advertising agencies who I feel understands my work & works on creating a good images.
I don’t follow too much advertising work across the world . So I do not want to comment on it.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Seeing life & things around me. I love to listen to music, travel, meeting new & different people from all backgrounds, & also love to taste food.& drinks
Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
Never. At times freelance photography is tough but I believe in myself & my work. That is what keeps me going.
Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
I don’t follow advertising work that much these days
Whats your dream project?
My dream project is to have my fine art photography work shown across the country & the world as exhibitions & show how I see life and things around me to people through my work.
Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
A person with interests which I can learn from & become a better human being & a photographer. The interests can be philosophy,art,food,music,etc.
Whats on your iPod?
Country music, Rock and roll, Pop, Classic Rock
Mac or PC?
Whats your Twitter Handle?
Vivek has also been a part of several commercial projects and ad campaigns, the most prominent one being that of Bangalore Traffic Police’s “Don’t Drink and Drive” initiative. Manipal Education, First Flight, Lenovo, Volvo, The Leela Hotel, Home Solutions, Shell, Vimal, Bosch, Thought Works, Nikon, Wrigleys, Tata Global Beverages, Ubuntu, Indus Strong Steel, Minster, Thann, Ceebros, VR Bengaluru,Aranyani, Chancery Hotel and Belmonte, are a few of his other commercial endeavours to be named.
In his enthusiasm towards the art of photography in itself, he has also contributed to two coffee table books – The Laidlaw Memorial High School, Ketti, Nilgris, for their 100 years and Best of Bangalore Vol .2 Innovation Edition.
His pictures have also been appreciated, alongside various other artists in several group exhibitions such as;
Bangalore Photography Festival – in April 2007 – Leela Galleria, Bangalore Shoot Out at Ranga Shankara – a part of the Theatre Festival at Ranga Shankara in October 2007, Bangalore – Curated by photographer, Pallon Daruwala
Behind the Lens – in February 2009 at Mahua Art Gallery, Bangalore – Curated by Ajay Rajgarhia
Wide Angle – in October 2009 – Alliance Franciase, Delhi
Streets – in January 2010 at Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore – Curated by Lina Vincent and Fiza Ishaq
Pressure to Globalize – in April 2011, Page Turners, Bangalore – Curated by Mahesh Bhat
The Festive Spirit – in October 2013 – Galerie De’Arts, Bangalore Urbanscapes – August 2014, at 1 MG Road Mall by Galerie De Arts – Curated by Deepa Subramanian and Franck Barthelemy
The Many Faces of India – February 2015, at 1 MG Road Mall by Galerie De Arts, Bangalore
Photo Exhibition Fundraiser- April 2015, at Art Of Delight by Aarogya Seva
Whitefield Art Collective – February 2016, at VR Bengaluru by Art Chutney
Small and Beautiful – December 2016, at Art Houz, Bangalore
Happiness For Sale – December 2016, at Galerie De Arts, Bangalore
His works are also currently on display at:
Galerie De Arts, Bangalore
Time and Space Gallery, Bangalore
Yep Art, Bangalore