“There are so many people who are so keen to explain, define, and redefine what love can be. I, personally, still don’t know what love is. Not because I’ve never experienced it, but because I’ve never felt the need to come up with a proof of concept, to analyze something that feels so extremely great. To me, love seems to be the one thing connecting us all, and taking up so much space, it single-handedly keeps the universe expanding” – for Berlin-based photographer Javier Cerrada, photography has always been a natural form of self-expression. His pictures are part of an ever-unfolding story of identities, real and chosen families, and love so powerful, it’s unstopable.
“My first few cameras all came from my family. I remember seeing the pictures that my dad, my grandmother took. I’ve always thought of it as a natural, obvious form of self-expression” – born and raised in Venezuela, Javier took his photography to the next level, and with that, to another continent and eventually, to Berlin.
“Through my own highs and lows, photography has always been here for me, and it still makes me get out of bed, helping me process my emotions. I guess that is what I’m trying to achieve through my art: expressing myself and documenting the people and places I love and find beautiful.”
To me, identity is like a lifelong journey, one that can be experienced and enjoyed best through a sense of belonging.
Change is a recurring element of Javier’s work, and his concept of ever-evolving identities is based on his own experiences of leading a life of constant exploration.
“This selection of pictures is very special to me as it is a mix of my old and newer works that tell a lot about my identity. There is a song, “No Soy de Aquí, Ni Soy de Allá” (“I’m Not From Here, I’m Not From There”), sung by Chavela Vargas that feels very close to who I am. I have a great love for my roots, my family, and the beach, and they all have shaped the person that I am today. And I’m very grateful for my chosen family that I’m now lucky enough to have in my life. To me, identity is like a lifelong journey, one that can be experienced and enjoyed best through a sense of belonging. So, go where the heart goes and find spaces where you feel safe to flourish.”