The most popular photo editor software starts with the photo of Flóra Borsi. Even BBC has written about her works, while she actually learned the independently, without any help. Reality is not enough for her; she thinks that art comes from the soul and knowledge.
Flóra Borsi is 21 years old, she makes the photographs herself, she has been using Adobe Photoshop program for the digital editing of her photos since the age of 11. The fact that one of Flóra’s photos appears during the seconds of the loading process of the program became public in 2014. In other words, all of the world’s Photoshop-users get ready to work by watching Flóra’s picture.
It is not Flóra Borsi’s first international success. She has had exhibitions in the galleries of London, Istanbul and Detroit, her series Time Travel, where she edited photographs featuring herself next to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley captivated the internet and got onto the front page of Yahoo. Her works appeared on the digital column of BBC, Huffington Post and Daily Mail.
The leaders of Adobe were so amazed by Flóra’s photos that they offered her further collaboration. Origo asked the Budapest based artist via e-mail about her work method, the laws of physics, and about the openness of her inland audience.
When did you decide to be a photographer? How did you get to digital photo editing?
I got to know Photoshop first when I was 11 and I tried different techniques until the age of 15. At that time I won a professional camera at a competition, so it was obvious to learn the technical part, moreover, I needed better quality pictures for the digital editing. That is why I started photography. At first, I copied famous fashion photos, but I needed more than that. I drew a lot and I wanted to connect the two, change the colours, shapes, and defy the laws of physics – with the help of Photoshop.
Which of your exhibitions, works are you the most proud of?
I am not able to choose. Every one of them makes me happy and I am proud of them all. Of course, America is far away; my experiences there turned into unforgettable memories. The cultural differences were insignificant, because the love of art is a universal language, and I am happy to speak it. I wouldn’t be able to choose from my pictures either, they all feel like my children, and a mother cannot choose her favourite child, can she?
Which of your projects was the biggest challenge?
Challenge for me is the idea itself. After the idea is born, implementation is only the question of technique, time and experience.
Both the media and the galleries are dealing with you more abroad. Why do you think that happens?
90% of my appearances happen abroad. Digital photo, which I am working with, requires more openness, and the audience abroad is more receptive for this kind of novelty. I feel like the younger generation is more open-minded in Hungary; many find me on the internet and start to follow me on Facebook. I only had one exhibition in Hungary, back in 2011. I don’t get invitations here, but more and more from abroad. It is kind of a bittersweet feeling.
How do these pictures develop in you? How much do you see of the final version in the early stages of creation?
My creative process is very simple. I only start working after the picture I want to create has appeared in front of me. I don’t like experimenting and I don’t want to leave any questions open. So, many times, when an idea is born, I check whether someone has done it before.
Where did you learn the profession?
I learned it on my own, separately from the profession. I think it is important to learn the techniques and photo creating methods that make the creation of the photographs possible, but I don’t want to be someone else’s tool during the implementation. I am a second year student at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, but at the same time – in my opinion – visual culture and taste have been forming everybody since childhood, and cannot be learnt. Applied photography can be, and the school is really good for that.
The extra needed for artworks comes from the soul and knowledge.
I think it is really important to maintain and improve these things. Surely, for a documentary photographer other things are needed, too, and the sociological and contemporary knowledge of photography can be developed by professional studies. These are beautiful professions, too, and essential elements of the global visual culture.
Besides starting Photoshop app with your photograph, the company offered you further collaborations, too. What are these?
Recently Adobe has cooperated with Lee Hirsch, American documentarist. Hirsch’s film, Bully was released in 2011 which is about the discrimination and violence among the youngsters in the country. Verbal terrorism affects many children in school and can also lead to physical violence. The Bully project, made by Adobe, raises awareness of this. They asked 16 artists around the world to create a picture, sculpture or video dealing with the topic. The pictures together will show the logo of the movement, and one particular picture is mine. The next step of the initiative is to place this artwork in every school of the States.
How was that photo made, which amazed Adobe so much?
For me Photoshop is just a supplementary tool. I also have series where photo manipulation rare. In my project called Iréel, from which the picture was chosen, the point was stay analogue as much as possible, still, it evokes the common methods of nowadays digital patterns. The general 6-12-24 hours of post work took only 2 hours in this project. I strengthened the colours, sharpened the textures and touched up the skin.
You play a lot with mixing analogue and digital techniques. In what degree do you think analogue photography will stay or go towards painting through digital photo manipulation?
This has been a manner of dispute for years and the final conclusion will evolve by itself. It is not worth to take part in an vague topic like this. There is always something new happening, then, again, the renaissance comes to turn us back to the old.
You can see more of her works here.
Copy editor: bm