Carlos Darder

“My dream was to be a mermaid or an angel”

Ever since he was eight years old, Carlos Darder (Mallorca, 1998) has been capturing moments with his camera, moments he knows will last forever. The result of these images brings him joy, emotion and even madness. In 2020 he published the book Falling in Love along with his partner Luke, and this year he is releasing another book of self-portraits based on his experiences in Berlin.

You grew up with a Buddhist mother. How did that affect your childhood, and your whole life?

It helped me to see the world from a different perspective. My childhood was magical, my creative seed lies within it, and over the years I have developed it. My only dream was to be a mermaid or an angel, and fly away. I loved having the option of leaving and returning whenever I wanted to. And that is what I am doing now.

That’s right, because you now live in Los Angeles, California. How do you feel, being so far away from your home, in a place that is so different?

Being here is like living in a movie. I have never been as happy living anywhere as I am now. I have always had a hard time finding mental peace in the places I have lived in, and so far, here, it has been easy for me. I know that my home is here. In any case, Los Angeles and Mallorca have quite a few things in common, like the beaches, the mountains... I feel a magical energy when I’m on Mallorca.

What is being free, for you?

Being at peace with myself, feeling contented where I am - that is what freedom is for me. And to feel free, I need to feel comfortable where I am, and the first time that has happened is in Los Angeles. Before, I would always move to another place to live, end up depressed, my creativity would vanish and then I would wind up going back to Mallorca.

What is it that makes you able to feel creative and develop your projects?

Creativity is the power and energy to create something new that is in your mind. Often my head wants to create something, but my body doesn’t, and in that moment the creativity disappears. It happens to me when I am sad, or when I have been in the same place for a long time. I need see new places and things in order to carry on being creative, that is what makes me feel alive.

How do you define yourself?

I am a person who tries to present the world exactly as I see it. There are many days when I perceive it as though I didn’t belong to it, and on other days I simply accept it and don’t even ask myself what I’m doing here.

What made you choose photography as a medium of expression?

Ever since we were small, my mother inculcated photography into my twin brother and me. Wanting to capture a moment you like, and which you know will last forever, is one of the things that makes me the happiest. Seeing what I imagined in the end result drives me crazy sometimes; or revealing a roll of film and seeing photos I had already forgetten about, that makes me very happy too. Sometimes I get so emotional I end up weeping.

How do you work?

I capture everything in a very instinctive way. I like to flow and capture what I like, or whatever inspires me. But when I do more serious work I make mood boards (a tool that consists of a quick visual presentation of images and words in a single medium).

Spirituality, self-portraits and nudity are all very present in your images. Why is this?

My mother opened up spirituality for me. Over the years I have come to appreciate how much [...]


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