Rainer Torrado: The XXY Interview

Artist Rainer Torrado

Words Christian Ruess

Rainer Torrado is a photographer & art director who is living and working between Paris, Hong Kong, and Madrid. He regularly contributes to international fashion magazines. We talked about his stunning project The Xxy Generation with him.

“If you wonder where do I find my solutions as a photographer and creative director, I’ll say that my creativity is usually triggered by images.”

What did you do before starting to answer this interview? Paris, Hong Kong, Madrid – We are a bit curious where in the world you might be right now and what you are working on.

In Madrid since last week, today I’ve had a very productive day. It started with a meeting at the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Madrid (ETSAM), where I’ve been offered to show my photography. Then I visited a few PhotoEspaña exhibitions. I’m home now, drinking tea, typing this.

Let’s make a short trip to the past, hoping to learn something from you. You studied architecture in Madrid, right? To create new stories, editorials, pictures, is it useful to have that kind of background? Or let me ask differently. Where does your inspiration come from?

Being an architect is useful indeed. I find inspiration everywhere: movies and parties, books and friends. But if you wonder where do I find my solutions as a photographer and creative director, I’ll say that my creativity is usually triggered by images.

Do you remember your first pictures? What or who was your first motive?

I don’t remember my first pictures, but I do recall having a sharper sensitivity while making an image – shooting, editing, going for black and white and finally retouching some bits – in a series of portraits of my aunt Eva. I took those a summer afternoon, back when I was a freshman.

Looking at your new series Xxy Generation, this work has a very strong recognition value – rough, spontaneous, on the pulse of time, more snapshot than fashion. Why is that? Tell us something about your project.

Rainer Torrado: Two years ago in Paris I was offered to shoot some queer parties. I haven’t stopped since, mainly a fun and unpretentious job. Recently my portraits of queer millennials evolved and turned into what they are today. Going through a separation and forcing a modest compact camera to give me exactly what I want, that’s how it happened.

How do people react when you’re taking pictures at the parties?

Rainer Torrado: It depends. Sometimes people don’t realize I snapped a picture. Sometimes people know me or know my work and they’re glad to let me do my thing. Occasionally I’m asked to delete a photo, but that happens rarely.

How does your project will go on? Maybe we should present the pictures at the next Container Love… 😉

Rainer Torrado: I love the idea!

Container Love’s mission is to highlight the beauty in diversity, to change points of view, and stand up for more tolerance with the help of pictures and basses. Which part reminds you of yourself?

Is this a trick question? I endorse all of it! My pictures speak volumes about Container Love’s mission on standing for diversity and tolerance, blending photography and music…

Standing up for the community is a political thing happening in the private. How does your work support the cause? Are you a fighter and if so, how do you fight – or support the cause?

I don’t know if I’m a fighter. I want my portraits of queer millennials to speak for themselves, and hopefully make the community stronger while doing so.

At least let’s take a quick look into your future. What is your dream or goal in your artistic work and life? Or let me ask you differently: Do you have a vision of you, being old and gray and wise…?

I just want to take better pictures.

Thank you for the interview, Rainer. Lots of love.

Rainer Torrado: Pleasure is all mine.

Check out Rainer Torrado and The Xxy Generation on Container Love’s Stories.