THE MASTER OF MUSES — PHOTOGRAPHER RAY LITSALA
The man behind the muse. Unlucky in love and living in his dreams.
Parisian analog photographer Ray Litsala won’t stop creating his desired fantasies until someone understands.
You are shooting for storytelling, branding, fashion and beauty — but you also shoot nudity. Why do you think that especially in times of social media, people tend to panic when it comes to nude photography?
Why do you think that nowadays the world grows even more conservative?
Ray Litsala: I am not an expert in this, however, I am passionate about sociology, and I like to observe, to hear the opinions of others.
Normality is a matter of consensus.
If the major part of a population has been educated and conditioned in the prohibition of certain practices and the recommendation of a way of life, it’s this population which will be representative of public opinion. Actors outside the path are deviants.
Female nudity is equated with sexuality by reflex.
This mentality will only change after a review of education. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to criticize the cultures of others.
Owning a picture of a woman in lingerie in China is almost considered to be possession of pornography.
Americans are easily offended by nudity, too.
Social sharing platforms are predominantly domiciled in the USA and depend on US laws. So the world aligns with these regulations.
I remember in the American series and films of my childhood, there were often references to France. Dialogues like “we are not in France” or “we will go for a walk topless on the beach in France”.
I also understand the fact that the world grows even more conservative.
Scandals that were once hushed up are being brought to light more and more.
Everyone is on the lookout for slippage because there are active idiots, sexual harassment, rape, abject behavior.
Nudity, even artistic, therefore arouses mistrust and questioning. It therefore requires us, and unfortunately, to justify ourselves and to be transparent.
You don’t post every single one of your artworks on your Instagram, does Social Media influence your way of working and showcasing?
Ray Litsala: No, I’m not influenced.
I just opened a Patreon platform to publish content without censorship.
My Elegant Nude Art as I call it. But, I don’t have a problem publishing my work.
I don’t publish everything because I have a lot of images and I don’t want to lose them in this mass.
I prepare art books to show everything. And I would like to do exhibitions in Germany and Japan.
On your website you say “With my words against Human Stupidity and my words towards Female Beauty, my pictures have become my paper and the camera my pen.” —
What irks Ray Litsala the most about society and how do you use photography/videography to fight against it?
Ray: I love and admire Women.
So I write poems over and over again in their honor. I started as a child. I fell in love easily already. And I wrote poems that I gave them.
It’s funny when I think about it.
Then I wrote my first rap lyrics where I complained about injustices and I told about my life. As I grew up my lyrics became more mature and what I try to express even in video is my loathing of selfishness and individualism.
Unfortunately, I’m an idealist. I want to be loved as I love everyone.
I still can’t understand how we can want to hurt others, or not help when we can. Humans really disappoint me, so I enjoy being alone in this beautiful world.
If the camera is your pen: What would be the one sentence photographer Ray Litsala would want to write most importantly?
Ray: I can understand that you have a thousand reasons for wanting to leave this world. But let me give you a thousand reasons to hang on.
If you were able to do only one more photoshoot, what story would you tell?
Ray: It’s the story of a woman who was running wildly.
We don’t know what she tried to escape from.
We just know she doesn’t want to go back there.
She ran, holding a precious item firmly in her hand.
She suddenly fell into darkness.
Coming to her senses, a cloud of fireflies swirled around her.
When the fireflies stopped to move in the air, she narrowed her eyes to get a better look at these creatures.
She was neither frightened nor surprised by this absurdity.
Just happy to never have stopped believing in fairies.
You have shot models from Japan, Bangkok, the Netherlands, Italy etc.
Apparently sharing the same values is more important than race, religion, culture — which values are able to save our world and which one are a threat to it?
Ray: The question is not to believe what the others believe, but to understand what they believe in. We always learn from others.
I think mixing is the future. For couples or groups of individuals.
I don’t like communitarianism. Whether it is a group of hippies or a group of bourgeois who want to stay only among themselves and with those who think like them.
Is there a creative field that you always wanted to try out, but haven’t yet? If yes, why haven’t you yet?
Ray: Cinema. it’s not really an area that I haven’t tried. I made short films. But I haven’t had the opportunity to make my first feature yet.
That’s what I’m aiming for.
Well, otherwise I admit, I would have liked to work with wood. cabinetmaker. We will see what’s going to come after retirement.
Which 3 options and outlets do artists like you have to showcase their art best?
Ray: I think I draw attention with my videos.
There are many photographers, in this large mosaic of magnificent content, I choose to be different with filmmaking.
Instinctively and fast, I realized that I was good in this way. So freelance models, actors and productions contacted me for this reason.
Of course, during a video shot, I jump when I see an incredible moment to freeze and I take out the photo camera.
It’s funny, because I can read in the eyes of people I meet “this is just one more photo”. But the interest changes when I give them the photo after a while. Time to develop it. Because I practice “film photography” and the grain of the image makes the charm. The “simple photo more” takes on a new value, and people realize that I am also a photographer.
Your photos are immersed in a romantic melancholy. The women you photograph become the muses of Ray Litsala and the muses of the viewer.
Where does this magic come from? Is it because you’ve been shooting exclusively analog for the past year?
Ray: I am unlucky in love, so I invent ideal romances.
I am happier in my dreams than in reality.
So these pictorial stories that we create with my collaborators represent the sweetness that I want to live, that I want to be given to me and that I can offer.
These series continue and will not stop until someone understands.
Paris, city of love and eroticism.
The city where you live has always inspired poets, painters and now photographers. Sexuality and eroticism have always served as a creative driving force.
How much has your city inspired your art?
Ray: Far from the clichés of monuments and famous streets that make the world dream, those are the meetings that inspire me in this city.
I know that I live in a fabulous city, and these settings encourage romantic or erotic scenarios.
But those are the people you meet who take turns to introduce you to their world.
Meet different people to travel and live different and unusual experiences. I learned that you shouldn’t hesitate to follow others on an adventure.
As an artist, that’s how we get inspired.
Which experience has influenced your photography the most?
Ray: I cannot be precise. It’s related to the previous question.
I have met people who take on their desires, fantasies, live it and show it.
I was not ashamed to be deviant. To be an actor or a singer. Assumed to get out of the system by telling themselves that we only have one life.
It was a little Parisian madness and the madness of Italian friends from Holland and Asia that made the click.
THE MASTER OF MUSES HIMSELF:
PHOTOGRAPHER RAY LITSALA
FINDING PHOTOGRAPHER RAY LITSALA
Originally published on BERLINABLE.com