Zoo Portraits : Yago Partal

Haymond Ashleigh www.zooportraits.com Yago's Website Share

Yago Partal has drawn and painted since childhood. After studying Fine Arts, he finally decided to focus on photography. Gradually he ecked his way into the commercial photography and cinematography world working chiefly as a director of music videos. Has remained more or less in hiding until he had a great marketing idea: launch the Zoo Portraits website to promote your own site. In the original zooportraits.com, he hung 34 portraits of animals with humanesqu bodies. His project that combines photography with digital illustration  become a web phenomenon.

What were your first steps in photography?      When I chose the branch studied art school. As was wearing modality active one year school where I did not even have adequate space for certain things. So the three teachers in this branch fitted out, for example, a bathroom and darkroom negatives rebel. There were two incredible years where I learned a lot in the most entertaining and where I made my first photographs. Also, I came from a very difficult time for health and three of them were very supportive and gave me the motivation I needed.

Describe your creative process.        What happens from power a light bulb in your head until the work is a reality? For that I'm a mess. Never pointed my ideas and in the end the vast majority end up lost. I always imagine much more ambitious project than I can actually get to get, and when I get to it I discover how difficult it is to perform. For example, getting the spaces, models, materials, lighting, etc.. And everything comes to a standstill. Anyway, it's something I like, because I always start from a point of improvement and at the end, I suppose, take me to something better than this.

Where do you usually find inspiration for your photo projects?        
Mainly in music. Many of my ideas are inspired by a song. Also when I see something that excites me, whether it is a photograph, film, painting, etc.. And of course, my mood, which ultimately is the thing which propells me to act.

 And how did the idea of Zoo Portraits come about?         Zoo Portraits emerged as an advertising project. I made my first website to promote  photographic books for actors and models. I enjoyed the connectivity with the net and art and went from there.

Did you expect the reception given?         Not at all. I've spent years in obscurity trying to output my work without success, and suddenly this has become a viral phenomenon. I've always been into social networking and sharing with my contacts all the bullshit I do and there is a frustration that arises from lack and limited attention, and now, suddenly (and I guess for a limited time) it is no longer necessary. I'm happy, amazed and hopefully this will serve as an opportunity for me to have more visibility from now.

How is the idea of creating T-shirts of Zooportraits via crowd founding going?   This is an issue that has driven me crazy these last few weeks. When something of yours blows up, there is a point where you no longer have the capacity to manage it properly. So now I'm now trying to deal with this step by step.

Have you any new projects coming up?          My series of urban portraits images I like, Parasol clip for April Fools Day too. My conceptual design work for The Skin I Live or Impossible by special effects company DDT are interesting projects. To be frank, I  feel I have not done anything yet that I feel really that proud of. And I understand that sounds semi-normal, but I look around and I see people doing things infinitely better and I have to stop staring at my navel. Just hope I can go earning a place where new ideas develop unfettered, if it's not too much to ask.

And in the far future?          Hopefully many things. Perhaps some great video clips or a series of photographs in a gallery, but you never know where things will go.