Art Sponge

Larry Dufresne Interview

When did you start photography and why?

I started by studying literature and discovered I had a very visual writing style. Photography seemed to be a natural development for my artistic skills. I also travelled a lot in the last few years and took lots of pictures with the different film cameras I bought along the way.


Have you kept writing?

I enjoy writing as much as photography, and like to combine them. I work on my writing in the same way I work on my photography: by breaking up certain words and giving the reader a new perspective on them, like creating a different language.


Why Polaroid? Digital vs. film?

I think digital is a great tool because it reassures you when you see the pictures right away. But I have a hard time finding inspiration in personal projects when working with digital. Its like writing on paper or typing, its not the same experience or feeling. You take pictures differently when using digital equipment or film.


How do you work on your photos? What’s the approach you take?

I like to create stories through my pictures. Sometimes I even use pictures I didn’t take, old pictures that people want to throw away. I add text or blend another picture on top order to create my own story. Its like playing with legos or making a puzzle, I use different parts I find to assemble a unique piece.

Shooting in Polaroid and film makes every picture very precious, so if I make a mistake like an over-exposure I try and use it to my advantage. I try and give pictures a new life by adding text or texture.


Mistakes with film are much more significant than with digital, it hurts more to mess up with film. You always learn from your mistakes when shooting on a roll of film.

However most of the time I’ll spend more time thinking about the significance of my pictures after taking them.


What motivates you? What inspires you?

Writers like Réjean Ducharme, typography and illustration. I believe that artists shouldn’t lose focus on the work around them, you need a visual culture to work with photography and other visual arts.



Larry is from Montreal and I had the pleasure of meeting with him to do this short interview. If any of you out there are from Montreal, make sure to go check out his exhibition in the Divan Orange (its up until the end of April). I’ll go as soon as my exams are over !

his blog

his portfolio (under the name petochok)


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