Interview with the Artist - Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

Interview with Danny Johananoff

Danny Johananoff is a self-taught photographer, presently living in New York.

At the age of 11, he was stretching up to reach while helping his father in the dark room. He has carried a camera ever since his first photo won third prize in a photo magazine, and his photography today is the result of many years of travel and shutter clicks.

In the last few years Danny’s technique evolved towards what he calls “painting” with the lens of his camera, using slow shutter speed. This unique and blurred photography is a style through which he is clearly identified.  He prefers the images emerge from the camera almost untouched, minimizing post editing. 

 Danny believes art is always out there, and seeks to capture it through the lens.  He begins each photo expedition with no expectations on what he may find...thus opening up to receive any scene that transmits emotion. It is this feeling and point of view he wishes to bring to the viewer.

Danny’s passion has deepened by his extreme travels, juxtaposing landscapes and circumstances, transforming his view of the world abstractly. He believes this allows beauty to be seen even in the war-torn Middle East, or a remote area of the world almost untouched by the hands of modernity. 

He has exhibited galleries in NY, Miami, Rome, Milan, London and Barcelona, and more coming soon.  Please subscribe to stay in touch.

Following is an interview with Art Curator Magazine from December 2019:
"Bahia Street" - Havana, Cuba, 2019
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art-making?

My name is Danny Johananoff. I reside in NY. 

Blessed by a father who loved photography, we both spent ages in the darkroom experimenting and creating images, black & white, color.

I was 11 years old then and I am carrying a camera with me ever since. 

I spent 40 years in a business career and now, retired, back to my passion: photography and music. I decided to share my work through exhibitions and social media. 

"Havana Swipe" - Havana, Cuba, 2018
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?

The constant search for harmony, in music and images, is the key that helps me spot those fascinating moment and frames. A major part of my photographs is blurred, leaving space for interpretation and viewers imagination. 

I move from very sharp and clear portraits and macro photography into hardly identified faces and figures.

In much of my photography, I don’t actually freeze the moment but rather let it move for a while and capture the beauty of dynamics.

All my photography is done on original location as opposed to studio work. Being there, where things are happening, is a thrill by itself. I love painting with the camera, using slow speed shutter. 

"Blue Taxi" - Havana, Cuba, 2019
Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am actually inspired by what I see and experience. When I see an interesting face for a portrait, I am attracted to capture it. When I see beautiful movement and colors, I capture it my way, keeping the movement in the one frame and letting the colors brush along.

"Market Walk" - India, 2018
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
This is very individual. My images can bring up different emotions in different people. I would like the viewer to interpret the image and connect to that. In portraits, it is the compassion to the photographed subject.
"Purple Beauty" - India, 2019
When do you know that an artwork is finished?
 I feel it in my guts. It is like passing a missing puzzle piece over the image until it fits perfectly in place.
"Water Way" - India, 2018
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Out of the many exciting moments such as getting to know the insect world from close when doing Macro photography and exploring west India, Cuba and many other locations, my visit to Kyrgyzstan in central Asia was the most fascinating. Different, and fulfilling photography-wise.
"On the Summit" - Costa Rica, 2019
How long does it take to produce one work?

If you count the traveling hours to the location it is a long process. Once I have the images, it doesn't take me long to make sure they are optimized for print.

All my files are sent to Germany to be printed.

"Down to the Lake" - June 2018
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artwork? 

Recently I returned from my expedition to Oaxaca in Mexico which was around the Dia de Muertos (the day of the dead). I wanted to experience the very different approach to the dead Mexicans have as opposed to the western world. I am now sorting and working on these images.

I am planning to visit Japan and Turkey for my next expeditions, while in between, I open myself to whatever draws me in.

"Skulls" - Oaxaca, Mexico, 2019
Where do you see your art going in five years?
 Combining music and images. I think these two senses together have an impact of one plus one equals three.