Artist Spotlight: Marco Ovando

By Albert Smith

Originally published on Advocate.com September 11 2010 3:00 AM ET

Marco Ovando was born in Guatemala City in 1974 and lives in New York, a city whose vibrant nightlife serves as one of his primary inspirations and a source of subject matter. His work combines elements of fashion, video, travel documentary, and celebrity portraiture. His photos have been featured in a number of magazines, including Maxim and Next, and cosmetics company Sephora commissioned him to do a video for a major campaign in 2009.

Why are you a photographer?
I wanted to show everyone the way my brain and eyes see things. My eyes are a 24/7 working camera, so everything I see is like looking through a lens.


What catches your eye?
Beautiful people. It doesn't necessarily need to be a model or a perfect 10. I like photographing women, men, and all the genders in between.

How do you choose your subjects?
It's really hard to explain, but I spot them really easily. I usually see someone walking around and I know I must photograph them. A lot has to do with the way they carry themselves. Working in nightlife in NYC gives me the privilege to be surrounded by so many beautiful creatures — usually the most edgy, weird-looking people catch my attention. I see "sexy" on everyone.

How do you describe your work?
I would it call sexy and bright. I like to show my subjects in a very comfortable environment. There's a lot of sexual energy in it, but it's between the subject and the camera. My work can be graphic but always tasteful. The prefect name for it would be "porn chic."

Who are your favorite artists?
Salvador Dalí, Keith Haring, Kaws, and in photography, David LaChapelle, Steven Klein, and Terry Richardson.

For more please go to www.marcovando.com.


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