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My Creative Hero: Pia Anderson



Birth director and renowned photographer Christopher Anderson on the reasons why his daughter has been his biggest creative hero

My Creative Hero: Pia Anderson

Christopher Anderson was born in Canada and grew up in West Texas. He first gained recognition for his pictures in 1999 when he boarded a handmade, wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America. The boat, named the Believe In God, sank in the Caribbean. In 2000 the images from that journey would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal.

Christopher is a member of Magnum Photos, and is the author of four monographs of photography.

Here, he discusses Pia - his daughter and personal creative hero.

Q > Who would you say is your creative hero? 

Christopher Anderson > I have many creative heroes. Of course there are photographers and filmmakers, but  also musicians, writers, painters etc. But today, I would mention my daughter, Pia, who is the inspiration for my recent book also titled, Pia.

Q > How long has this person been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting them or coming across their work?

Christopher > I have been photographing her since day one. She is now eight years old. Pia is more than my photographic subject. She is a collaborator…a co-conspirator. She drives the work as much as I do. 

Q > Why is the person such an inspiration to you? 

Christopher > My photographic work is closely connected to my personal experience. You could say that my work circles around themes of intimacy and emotion. I’d like to think that it is not overly sentimental. There are questions about the nature of the relationship. Not only the relationship between father and daughter, but the relationship between photographer and subject. Muse might be an applicable term. But in my mind, it is more than that. I am photographing her. Not just the idea of her. 

Q > How does this person influence you in your approach to your creative work? 

Christopher > Sometimes Pia is performing for me. But I am never sure if she is taking pity on me to help me make a photograph that I will think is good, or if she is mocking me in a way. I see her sense of humour, her intelligence and her awareness of what I am doing. 

Q > What piece or pieces of this person’s work do you keep coming back to and why?

Christopher > My book, Pia, is full of her “art”. Sometimes she is expressing herself with how she dresses or the way she moves or creates a character. Sometimes it is for my benefit, other times she is enjoying the role she is playing.


- Books: PIA (Stanley Barker September 2020) COP (StanleyBarker 2019) Bleu Blanc Rouge Exhibition Catalogue (Hatje Cantz 2018) Approximate Joy (StanleyBarker 2018) STUMP (RM 2013) SON (Kehrer Verlag 2012) Capitolio (RM 2009)

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Birth UK, Mon, 16 Nov 2020 09:50:30 GMT