Augusto Paiva is a Creative Director and Photographer based in New York City. He recently moved back to New York after spending five years working as an Art Director at Apple in California.
Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Augusto graduated in Advertising before he went to study Graphic Design in Australia. For him those years were very important as a start to find his own visual language. However, things really took shape after he moved to NY in 2011 to work for Nike and later worked on giving a voice and tone to Apple Music through graphic design and photography.
Five Questions to Augusto Paiva
How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
Maybe because I’ve moved cities so many times in my life, I’m very attached to this dream-like aesthetic. To recreating that feeling that you can go back in time and revisit your memories and friends. Like when you wake up from a dream and all you can remember is someone’s eyes, hair, some vague idea of location but a strong feeling of vulnerability and nostalgia.
Black and white photography feels like the only way for me to speak through an image right now. I love its minimalistic but yet very bold way to say something.
I’ve always been drawn to simplification. To the idea of taking everything that is unnecessary to create a very clear and pure image while still trying to evoke an emotion.
What makes a great photograph?
Looking at my own photos, I’m usually very attracted to harmonious shapes and a sense of intimacy. I’m often searching for that look or moment that can draw you in and make you feel like it’s detached from the idea of time.
What’s your main source of inspiration when you’re behind the camera?
I’m a big Jim Jarmusch fan. I love the dark and moody vibe he applies to his movies and music. Music is definitely a big source of inspiration, Im very into the concepts in John Frusciante’s solo work. Hedi Slimane’s portrait work is also a great reference for capturing youth with a great sense of motion and style. Mario Sorrenti, Steven Meisel and Ralph Gibson also play a crucial part in my aesthetic.
If you had to pick a song or album to soundtrack your work, what would it be?
Those late albums that Johnny Cash did with Rick Rubin or anything by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Who are you top three photographers at the moment?
Henrik Purienne, Renato D’Agostin and Maxim Gagarin.