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Catching up with Featured Artist, Gino Barasa

Gino's photography will be on display through the end of April at our Northwest location, and again in May-June at our Central location.

In August 2015 we interviewed Gino to get the story behind his photography, and yesterday we caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to for the past 8 months.

Gino told us that he is currently in a reflective state, where he is undergoing a period of growth that requires asking himself the question, “How can I be better?”

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Gino’s photos of Austin’s street art murals and our city’s ever-changing skyline have adorned the walls of various Kerbey Lane locations for quite some time. He told us, “Most of what you see in Kerbey Lane are landscape and cityscape photos, devoid of humans. Lately I’ve been thinking that my work is lacking humanity.”

We can expect to see more people (or as Gino refers to them “The Humans”) as the subject of his photography in the future as he strives to inject a dose of humanity into his repertoire.

Gino doesn’t plan to use the same editing techniques of using filters and over-saturated colors when photographing people because, as he puts it, “There is an honesty that is required when photographing people.” He feels a responsibility as an artist to capture the authentic essence of a person and not detract from that essence with overproduced editing.

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Along with the inclusion of “The Humans” into future photos, Gino plans to show us more by telling us less. He explains, “A good photo always has a secret, and all good secrets are powerful until they become known. It is curiosity that drives people, it gnaws at them, it’s that something that they can’t put their finger on that keeps them coming back. I think my work has been too obvious—I’ve been telling my secret.”

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We learned during our first interview with Gino that he has a mobile auto paint repair business, or what most artists refer to as a “day job”. This year is the first year that he has been able to seriously consider being a photographer full-time. We discussed how most artists loathe self promotion, and how they all desire to be discovered, to have their work be recognized and appreciated solely based on the intrinsic value of their art. However, that is almost never the reality of artists' success stories.

After several years of viewing photography as merely a hobby, Gino has come to the point where he no longer has to shove himself and his work in front of people in order to get noticed—people are now reaching out to him. A man obsessed with process, Gino sought out local artists whose work he admired and asked them how they became successful. Their answers all culminated to the same conclusion: you have to work hard. You have to be willing to stick your neck out just a little more than the next guy.

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Throughout our conversation, the topic of hard work and having to earn your place in the spotlight continued coming up. Gino explained the often false notion of overnight success: “There is the perception that when someone hits it big that it happened overnight—but it only happened overnight for those watching. In reality it was eight years of hard work where only your mom liked your work."

Over the course of Gino’s career, it crossed his mind several times to sell his camera equipment and stop dreaming the seemingly impossible dream. But he didn’t; he continued to have faith that what he was doing would pay off in the long run. He would encourage all the dreamers out there to do the same.

You can see more of Gino’s photography on his website, www.1138studios.com, and his Facebook page. All of his photography on display at Kerbey Lane is for sale and you can purchase additional works via his online store. Questions for Gino? Email: 1138Studios@gmail.com.

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