Polaroids from Andreea Andrei

It’s an instant visual memory that gives you a special experience. Since I got my two Polaroid Cameras, I said that I want to capture my daily life and special moments from one’s life.

Visual artist Andreea Andrei talks us through her archival polaroid work, capturing her close friends and strangers with an editorial flair and a strong narrative. Her polaroids capture ephemera and momentary nuances within a portrait, these qualities are mirrored well in the medium she's chosen to work with giving this work a strong conceptual backbone.


Tell us more about you and your artwork.

I studied film directing in Romania and after two years I wanted to move abroad and try to study in London. I’ve done a short course at NFTS this year. About my work I can say that I’m drawn to people, places and stories. In particular about youth and how this process of getting older makes people feel anxious or in some cases happy. I started with photography when I was twelve years old and I liked the moment you capture a photograph, after that it’s all gone but you’ll have it on a photograph forever. I like to tell real stories about real people who at some point they  where at a turning point in their lives.

How did you plan for this project? What was your creative process?

To be honest I didn’t planed “Polaroid Project .Instant People” I just let it unfold and in November 2016 , when I was back home in Romania, I gave it a thought and said that it’s the right thing to go on with this project and just see what happens after I photographed those people. It involved lots of Lana del Ray music to have some ideas on how to approach people to get involve in the project.

What work inspires or has inspired you?

With Polaroids in general , Helmut Newton had a big influence on me. I liked his Polaroids from testing for a photo shoot. It’s something about this medium of photography that makes you curious and just try it. Another great photographer who influenced me is Nan Goldin. Her work it’s so intimate and warm and it’s just like a visual diary of a creative person that let’s you into her private life to be almost like a voyeur. I think it’s great to be true with you and your public . Photography can be tricky sometimes but if you take it in the right direction you can have a body of work that will make your public feel emotions that are true. Not just for the sake of it.

Are there any artistic movements you enjoy in particular and why?

I like abstract movement. I think it gives you something to think about. It’s unusual but in the same time it will make you free from all of the normal forms we all know. It may look chaotic from a distance but if you look closer it will all make sense. 


Do you have any opinions or ideals underlying your art?

I have sometimes the normal ones like is this really good or is it enough. But in the end I think you need just to get out there and create. Don’t think about idealism or if it’s bad. No art is bad ..it’s art.

This is the first polaroid work featured on SEMI ZINE. This polaroid series is beautiful! It’s a very meandering, subjective body of work. Can you tell us more about what you capture and why in your polaroid work?

I always loved Polaroids. It’s an instant visual memory that gives you a special experience. Since I got my two Polaroid Cameras, I said that I want to capture my daily life and special moments from one’s life. I’m trying to make like a visual diary of my entire life until I will die. It’s a legacy for my children and for everyone who wants to see my work. In a way, it gives you a hint on how that person was or it is. You can guess the atmosphere from a Polaroid. How people where when they took that photograph.

Any words for aspiring photographers?

If you think that this is your calling. Don’t ignore it and trust it. Go for it no matter what and how. If it’s meant for you it will find a way to come and it will never leave. Sometimes it will feel like you’re tired and can’t make it anymore because sometimes it’s a job you have or a mood that keeps you from doing it, but don’t stop no matter what.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I’m working on a new project that involves Polaroid and 35mm. I’m still trying to find the right mood and the right characters for this project. 

Is your work being exhibited anywhere at the moment?

I don’t have shows yet but I’m thinking to do a retrospect with my Polaroids. I just need to find the right place to show the photographs.

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