Photographer Anthony Trevino Shot from Chicago and Scored in Los Angeles: Q&A
Showcasing his very first solo exhibition retrospective, Chicago-based fashion photographer Anthony Trevino sits down with us to talk about his latest work and inspiration behind his show, KALIFORNIA. Trevino has shot for multiple artists, and fashion campaigns-- including the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott, Kacy Hill, 21 Savage, and many more. You may have even seen his work plastered across billboards, and magazine editorials, creating visual content for companies like Puma, Complex, Nike, and even Takashi Murakami.
Trevino was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago in a neighborhood known as Little Village. He has used every opportunity to his full advantage to make a name for himself in the industry that he loves. By following his dream, he is setting a perfect example for any aspiring photographer out there. Whether he is shooting for legends, or creating jaw-dropping editorials, Anthony Trevino is an artist you definitely are going to want to keep up with.
KALIFORNIA opened at the VIP Paints Gallery in Chicago on November 18 and runs through December 18, 2017. VIP Paints Gallery hosts a variety of creatives and events. Owner of the gallery, Delilah Martinez, mentions to Flaunt, “My team and I chose Anthony Trevino to exhibit in my gallery because I have known and been a supporter of his work in the fashion world. I was excited and honored to be able to display his photography in landscapes, which no one has seen before.” Flaunt got a chance to sit down with Trevino opening day of his exhibition. Check out the interview below along with highlights from the show in the gallery above.
What is the story or concept behind this show?
This is my first solo exhibition as a photographer, people usually know me for my fashion photography, they don't see this side of my work, so that is why I decided to showcase my landscapes. There really is no concept for the show. I think the overall meaning is just realizing that there is more out there than just what you're used to.
It is a documentation of my travels out west to California. I realized the meaning of the show later, after it all came together. Coming from the Southside of Chicago, we’re not used to seeing palm trees, or mountains, and Chicago is pretty much flat land so there is a lot that I just wasn't used to seeing. So when I was flying out west I was just looking out the window and thinking this is cool and I was documenting that. And after I started to put it all together I asked myself there has to be a deeper meaning to this, Like why am I coming to California. And again the concept is about me being limited and coming to California and making something of it.
When did your interest in photography first begin, and what made you decide to pursue a career as a photographer?
I started photography when I was 14 in high school. I took a graphic design class and loved it and my teacher told me, “Hey, you’re good at this. You should take my photography course.” I did because she was my favorite teacher and I got hooked. I started off doing architectural photography and my friend had a clothing brand and asked me, “Hey, can you take pictures?”
It was just t-shirts, And I was like, "Ok cool" and got hooked on doing fashion photography. I don’t think I have told myself I wanted to pursue a career in this; I was always just looking for opportunities to prove myself. I've had opportunities to work with big celebrities and big brands and always thought these guys probably have like a huge studio with the best photographers in the world and always told myself I can do that. I know I can. I eventually got those opportunities to prove myself and did my best and people wanted to continue to work with me. Even now, it's not weird to say I'm a photographer. But it's weird to see this is the life I chose and it's going well for me.
How would you describe your photography style?
That's hard. I never really think about it like that. My style is never limited and always changing based on my vision. One day I feel like shooting something raw and edgy, while the next I feel like shooting something classy and elegant. My style is undefined.
Your show is titled Kalifornia, can you elaborate on why you came up with this name?
People always tell you if you come out west you can live your dream, go to LA or Hollywood and become this star. I had an opportunity to come out west and realized how hard it really is. People assume that just because you're out here that you made it. And it's not true. It takes a lot of work to become the artist that you want to be.
Hearing all that, I wanted a taste of that. I was like, "Let me see what this is. Let me experience it." When I first went to California, it hit me that this is where I wanted to be, and It just wasn’t something I wasn’t used to. I don’t believe you have to be in LA, or Chicago, or New York to make it anymore. You just have to be the best artist that you can be.
Who are some of your inspirations and influences that have inspired you as a photographer?
Definitely Nabil. He’s like may idol. I have yet to meet him but he is someone that I just look up to, just seeing what he has done for culture. Also Nick Knight, he definitely pushes the boundary and goes crazy with his style.
Where do you see you photography going in the near future? Any advice you want to give to any photographers out there?
Yeah, I've been a photographer for 11 years now, and have been working in the industry for 4 years now, and people don’t see that. They only see what you post on instagram and think it’s all a new thing. I'm 25 now and have been shooting since I was 14 and my style has changed over the years. You know it could be stressful. It could be hard to finds yourself as an artist, and even as a person.
I was fortunate enough to work with well-established brands and companies. It's an honor that they respect my vision and my craft and it's a humbling experience just knowing where I come from. It is definitely something I wouldn't take for granted because it has always been just amazing opportunities. My advice that I would give to photographers starting off out there would be to be patient. Be original. Don’t say yes to everything but always take those opportunities that interest you and give you solid working relationships. Work hard and don’t give up. Always stay focused. And don’t copy anyone else.
Written by Alex Ceballos
Photography courtesy of Anthony Trevino's KALIFORNIA