Sarolta Bán: The Unlimited Possibilities of Conceptual Photography

A Tête–à–tête with the Surrealist Photographer

Photography by Sarolta Bán

Sarolta Bán was a jewellery designer till photography caught her fancy. While playing with digital photo-manipulation techniques she fell in love with the art of visual story-telling. The fantastical imageries of the conceptual photographer from Budapest, Hungary transport viewers from mundane reality to a modern day wonderland.

Both your earlier profession of jewellery design and your current passion for photography require an eye for detail and composition of different elements to create a splendid whole. How do you see your transition from one field of art to another?

It’s always a great feeling when the elements of the pictures come to work together and the image is given its own ‘life’. Photo manipulation was a hobby first and I learned the ways to create the images from trying and experimenting. I like a lot of playing with my photographs; it gives almost unlimited possibilities to develop various exciting ideas and unexpected insights. With this, I’m able to express feelings and emotions, which I otherwise couldn’t have possibly managed.

Photography by Sarolta BánPhotography by Sarolta Bán

Your photographs nearly always contain ubiquitous, everyday elements as part of its composition, bestowing them with subtle meanings. Why this fascination with pervasive objects from trees to inanimate items?

I like using old, nice and ordinary elements and then by combining them, I can give them various stories, personalities. Objects and other little items are important for me. I think that they have their own stories, probably this is the reason why I love what I do. My favourite element is tree, especially, old tree which I think are so wise. I have always seen this, I feel something inside of them, which they have not forgotten, but we have.

In terms of workflow, most of the time at the beginning I just start playing with the various elements; and while combining these elements they just start to work together, rarely do I have a concept first and start to put together my ideas into a picture.

Your work reminded me of the great photomontage artist Jerry Uelsmann. Do you draw inspiration from any personality from or beyond the world of photography, both past and present?

There are various artists, photographers whom I admire. Here are two for example (but of course I have many other favourites), Chema Madoz and Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

Luca, Photography by Sarolta Bán

Do you have any personal favourite among all your creations? If yes, why?

Yes, my favourite image is of my sister, Luca. It’s an old picture, I think her beautiful eyes just rocks :)

Audiences must have drawn their own interpretations in a variety of ways. Has it ever happened that an audience perception moved your own, original interpretation in one way or the other?

It often happens that other people see different things in my pictures than I do. Usually, this doesn’t change my perception of the image, but I love to hear these comments. From time to time, my interpretation of an image changes as well.

Do you have any special planning for the year 2013?

I don’t have any specific plan for this year, we have just finished some developments on my homepage. There is a new fun application, ‘pic for my wall’ next to each image. Now you can visualize how an image would look like on your wall in different sizes.

Overall I would love to own an andalusian horse one day :)

Portrait of Sarolta Bán

Sarolta Bán prefers…

Sarolta’s favourite holiday destination happens to be Granada, Spain. She likes watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead whereas her tastes in music vary according to her mood. At the moment though, she is partial to the music of Dead Man’s Bones. Her favourite book happens to be Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.

Find more of her work at her website.

Image Courtesy: Sarolta Bán