Profiles

Meet Seetwist, a former musician capturing the urban art and artists of Denver

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Ww: In addition to taking still photos, you also have a vibrant YouTube page and have created time-lapse pieces featuring local artists Filthe and Delton Demarest [the artist shown painting GB Fish & Chips in the video above and after the jump], which is something that I've never seen done in Denver before: What inspires you to shoot art in this format?

ST: I love seeing how these pieces are created from beginning to end. Since so many people document street art with their video cameras, I wanted to try something a bit different. It's a bit more work -- some of the finished movies consist of 30,000+ photographs -- but I think the end result is more interesting. Not only that, but it gives me a chance to play around with extra still shots that I normally wouldn't be able to get via camcorder.

Ww: In the old days, photographing and videoing graffiti artists was almost offensive. Has this changed over time? Do you still run into cats who prefer not to show their face?

ST: To a degree. Street art itself seems to be gaining more acceptance in mainstream culture, and movies like Exit Through The Gift Shop and Shepard Fairey's work on Barack Obama's campaign poster are certainly helping it along.

I run into people who ask that their face is hidden all of the time. In fact, a lot of my work ends up taking a few months to produce because I have to go through each individual photograph and blur the faces and identifying marks on the folks who ask to remain anonymous. Some people won't allow me to take their picture at all.

Ww: You used to be a musician yourself. Any particular reason for the move to visual arts?

ST: No particular reason. I've played in a few local bands over the years, but they've gradually drifted apart for one reason or another, so I decided to go alone for a while. My father is a photographer, so I kind of picked up the hobby from him, and over the years, I gradually worked my way up from shooting with disposable cameras to point-and-shoot cameras to DSLRs.

Ww: Do you have a favorite album or song to listen to while you're shooting?

ST: Right now, it's the new Emancipator album Safe In The Steep Cliffs, and I'm playing the hell out of the track "Old Devil."

Ww: What's next for Seetwist Productions?

ST: I just finished time-lapsing a huge intergalactic-themed mural and some models being body-painted in front of it; that should be going up on my YouTube page sometime this week. I have a project or two lined up with Guerilla Garden, and I'm also working on a really intricate ghost-writing time-lapse with some artists up at North Denver Photographers. Between all that and a few semi-secret projects that are still in the works, I should stay fairly busy until the end of summer.

[Watch time-lapse clip mentioned above after the jump. FYI: Mildly NSFW]

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Rachel Romero