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Tropical Beauties & The Sea – Andy Wauman

Andy Wauman and his work always inspired me in an odd way; wild, adventurous and free, his pictures always represented the untouchable feeling of freedom we all want so badly to feel. The “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and the timeless beauty of women. Looking at his pictures is like diving into a poetry novel; you don’t understand half of it, but you still fall in love with it anyway.

We decided to send a few questions to Andy to get to understand his work and his process a little bit more, as well as the man behind the camera. Here’s our interview.

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Where did you grow up and when/how did you get involved with photography?

I grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. I started taking Polaroid when I was a young kid. My father was a photo chemist, so it was always around me. Polaroids are instant fun. 

Andy Wauman aka Gutterdust—what’s the secret behind the name?

I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teenager. Published my First Novel ‘Rack Novel’ in 2006. The novel is a narrative about an apocalyptic character that walks through the urban landscape and expresses his feelings through poetry. 

Gutter stands for my love for the street and urban culture as that was the environment where I grew up in, skateboarding and hanging in the streets with the crew. Dust refers to the dust of a diamond. In my case, it’s the Dust of the Gutter. 

Playing the silver strings of the street. Sending music to the feet. And heart gliding in between. 

When you aren’t shooting, what are you into?

I try to surf every day at sunrise and sunset, depending on the swell. For the rest I try to read and write a lot. I’ve been watching a lot of films lately as an inspiration for my first feature that I’ve been working on for a while now. 

My Rack novel is the starting point for this film. It will be an explosive film noir documentary animation about urban culture.   

Your pictures are a good mix between girls, palm trees and the ocean. Where do you get your inspiration?

Last year, I decided to start travelling and ended up in Bali, where I started shooting on a daily base. I made a film with http://deuscustoms.com/ and did a show at the Temple of Enthusiasm in Canggu, Bali. After Bali, I decided to go to California and ended up staying for six months shooting, travelling and surfing. That’s where Gutterdust exploded. I started collaborating more and more with a lot of people in the industry that covers the area between skateboarding ‘street’ and surfing ‘ocean’. Now I live in Bali and I will be travelling between Bali and Australia for photography and film projects, mostly in surf culture.  

What kind of camera are you using? If I understand your latest hashtag, #staybrokeshootfilm, I believe you don’t use digital cameras?

I’m not against digital photography, but I mostly shoot film. I also recently started shooting on Super 8 and 16 mm film again. So much fun and magic.  

Who were the first artists you got inspired by?

The first artists I got inspired by were mostly writers, such as Walt Whitman, Mikhael Lermontov, Jean Genet, Percy Byssche Shelley and many more…. 

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently shooting the last parts of a 30 min video clip I shot for http://www.creaturewiththeatombrain.com/. My buddy, Aldo Struyf, made a 30-minute song with other musicians, such as Mark Lanegan and Tom Barman. We are currently shooting the surfing parts. The final result will be a black and white film all shot here in Bali. The images are also going to be used as a backdrop behind the band when they play at festivals. A very exciting project!

I’ve noticed that you produced some films for brands. Why have you chosen to film them in Black & White?

Black and white is gold. I love the energy and I think it’s very sexy. I also love the graphical character of it. Next week I’ll be shooting Super 8 in full colour. 😉 

Did you ever consider any other professions?

I saved some horses when I lived in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. A profession that involves animals always attracted me. 

What do you love most about being a photographer and what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the job?

I like the challenge of taking a picture that dreams. I always try to catch a vibe. A feeling. I don’t take it too seriously. And I don’t really look at myself as a photographer. I’m an artist with a lot of cameras and I’m never at work!

I recently checked your work a bit more and realized that you work with a lot of different mediums: writing, sculptures, analogue photography & films. Does it feel overwhelming having a passion for so many different creative outlets?

Yeah, I’ve been doing Contemporary Art for a few years. I took a little break from it, but later this year I’m doing two solo shows in Europe. It will be a fresh start. Surfing came into my life and my environment changed, because I’ve been travelling and working a lot in tropical destinations, so these two exhibitions will be a result of that. Urban will meet the topics. A very challenging and exciting transformation within myself and my work as an artist. 

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Biggest fear?

Not to be able to see. 

Where are you in 10 years?

I hope to be in a place like Byron Bay with my beautiful girlfriend and her little monkey. 


See more from Andy Wauman aka Gutterdust: Website / Instagram

Another photographer you may like: Leila Joy.

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