Hometown: Born in Madagascar, currently lives in Fargo
Art Styles Produced: Photography and Design
Who or what is your biggest influence and why? My biggest influence was not a person but an experience. I was in the fourth grade, in London, traveling to The US from Madagascar. I had grown up with no television, no billboards, very little print advertising. My father had taken a few of us kids out to see the city, and as we stood at the tube station, there on the walls were huge billboards, right in front of my face. The huge, bold photograph of a car in an ad stopped me in my tracks. As I stood gazing up, my dad and two of my siblings jumped on the train, unaware of my stopping. The train pulled out and seeing me standing in a trance on the platform, Dad pulled the emergency cord, bringing the train to a screeching halt. Needless to say, he was not happy - but I think then I understood the power of a beautiful photograph.
Who is your artistic inspiration / idol? My artistic inspiration is the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson - the whimsical nature of both the content and composition of his photographs seem so natural. I have been fortunate to see a number of his prints over the years and am always amazed at their simple beauty.
What role do you as an artist have in society, as well as Fargo's culture? My role as an artist is to continually push, to try and create beauty, to make something that will have a profound impact on someone. Most attempts fail - but it is important to keep trying.