Monday, March 1, 2010

Matt Blum came to Sao Paulo for "The Nu Project" and insidesaopaulo interviewed him. Check it out!

Matt Blum is an American from Minnesota and the author of "The Nu Project", which is a series of nudes of common women. The project started in 2005 with the purpose of shooting naked women, but under a condition: no models, no makeup and no glamour.

The purpose is wonderful and gives the opportunity to people to see themselves as they really are. Matt does it as a personal project and Katy, his adorable future wife, follows him on the project. Insidesaopaulo had the great opportunity to meet them during their visit to the city (February 15th to 20th). Check out the video interview (and also the transcription down here).

Hi I am Diego from InsideSaoPaulo and I am here with Matt Blum, the author of “The Nu Project”. I would like to tell us a little bit about your project.
The project started a couple of years ago and it is basically involved with people I have never met and never seen before. They are shooting nudes and back in the States we did a lot of work. Here in Brazil we took mostly in location like homes or spaces that they have, houses. So the idea of the project was to give everybody a chance to be part of art and to give people the opportunity to feel beauty about their bodies or how they look regardless about they are supermodels or just normal people.

Great. Where have you already been with this project?
First we were shooting where we live in Minnesota, so this is the first time we left Minnesota to shoot. We never really thought about doing it we just decided we are going to be here so we give it a try and we found enough people to make it work. So now I think when we travel we will try to cooperate some shoots trying to get looks into people’s lives from all over the world.

What kind of woman wants to be your model?
I think that people that are the best model are people that are open to the experience. They don’t have to be any particular age or any particular body types just they have to be able to be open and relaxed. Other than that it doesn’t really matter. I have seen the best results with people that are like that. It is more about their personality and their willing to be present and involved in the project and just kind of trust on it.

When you said you were coming to Brazil you received 500 hundreds emails on the first 12 hours you announced the trip to Brazil. Why do you think people want to be so much to be your model?
I think that everybody of us as human we want to be seen and we want to be appreciated and I think that especially for women this is hard because if they don’t fit certain mode, I think the message is that all you might have is internal beauty or you might to have a great personality but no one says that you are also beautiful and externally too beautiful. It is just because they are not super model, skinny, 5/10 or whatever it doesn’t mean they are not extremely beautiful as well. To me I think that people want to feel like that, they want to feel comfortable on how they look even though they don’t fit that models. It seems that either you are really beautiful or you are internally beautiful. But I think there is something else too even if you have not the perfect bodies you still beautiful. I think they just want to be part of it and show.

Your work can help them to feel more confident.
Yes, that is about all the feedback that we get. After seeing their shots the people feel like they didn’t know what they have. It is like a third part saying objectively this is what you look like and then they see it and they think “actually I am good, I am ok with that”. So it helps to build some self-confidence.

Did you ever get any complain?
No actually. The only things that we tell everybody that once we shoot, we don’t edit the work, we only produce what it is seen on the site so it is not going to look any different of that. If you want to be part of it than it should be ok to be there on that side. We won’t blur your face… So once in a while some people say I should take the picture down and I wait a couple of days, we try not to do anything, if you really want me to do it I can do it, just let me know. And every time they say: “no, it’s ok, I like it”. This is like an additional thing like “oh my gosh, it’s out there, it is on the site”. So this is the only thing we ever had. After I ask them again, they say yes.

It’s pretty mature.
I think it’s because the type of photography. What is there of being ashamed about? The photo is not hypersexual, it is not going to expose somebody, we are not trying to take advantage of anybody. It is not the kind of stuff you see on Playboy, which to me means there is nothing to be ashamed about.

Do you want to go further with the project?
I think that any good artist never ends it, just a sort of feel stopping. So there are moments when you are shooting and you are not feeling it anymore, so you should stop. What I hope to do is just to keep shooting around the world and maybe, years from know, have a really large collection of photography of all over the world, of all kinds of people, spaces and whatever and happen to been a sort of sampling of women around the world that maybe otherwise beauty negatives couldn’t be in course. That is the purpose: normal people from a bunch of cultures, and different skin types, different bodies, personalities...

What do you think about the Brazilian woman?
Honestly I think that Brazilian women are just like every other kind of woman. The people in Sao Paulo are extremely open and extremely friendly. Without knowing me they let me come into their home, spend time with me and let me photograph them but I think just like anywhere else. Everyone is different, so after working with 15 people, I couldn’t tell you what is the Brazilian woman like because they are all different. Some people were super relaxed and super comfortable and we did the shoot and it was great. Other people were a little bit nervous and regarded but I think that is just like anybody. There are many different kinds of people making the same culture.

Thank you Matt, your job is great. I’m glad to have you here with me and I hope the best for your job. What you do is good for people. Thank you very much.

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