By toying with light and texture, photographer Marta Serrano’s latest series Enter my Dreams depicts the sensual existence of an intimate world presented through the lens. Each image tells a soft and poetic narrative that resonates with us all, leaving a sense of familiarity, wonder and empathy towards a male stranger.
“I got into photography by accident. Before this, my field was in art and writing. I was creating with words more than with anything else,” Marta tells It’s Nice That. After moving to Amsterdam for a job in a popular professional photo lab, this unexpectedly catalysed a career in photography. “I had never thought of myself behind a camera, yet working in such a place gave me the opportunity to see the wide spectrum of the medium and all its possibilities. It was at this time when I started to think in images.”
Attracted to the unfamiliar and a need to take on new adventures, Marta seeks out the mundane and captures every small moment that comes her way. “My creative process has been developing and redefining itself along the years, but my main source of inspiration has remained the same: the unknown, the different, the conflicting and the intimate,” she says. From this, a consistent theme transpires through her work and stems from a pure fascination, if not slight obsession, with “boys, men and their unique ways and worlds.” Perhaps this draws from her personal experiences with the opposite sex, or from a pure fascination with an other-wordly quality that echoes among the subject — either way, the photographs become instantly recognisable as she captures the models’ innocence, confidence and beauty.
“I love boys” is written on her website’s tag line, which sits alongside a visceral and deeply charming selection of imagery. “An image produces emotions, enjoyment, despair, a memory of a smell or a visual colour,” says Marta. Within every photograph, there lies a hidden and deeper meaning that’s waiting for the viewer to discover. “In between the detail, the light, the shapes and the texture, my photography addresses the gap between what reality displays and what is hidden beyond. It goes back to basics and to the essence of being.”
Marta shoots all over the world and takes inspiration from a mixture of settings, including her current residency in Amsterdam, Cuba, India, Africa, Europe and Brazil. Through her travels, this is where she engages with ideas and fulfils a need to photograph her male subjects in a pure and honest form. “At the moment I am working on two different projects: one based in Cuba, the other one in Amsterdam, where I live. In Cuba I photograph young men in their most pure form, as they are surrounded by nature or barely anything. The second one is in Amsterdam where I am photographing men of all ages and nationalities in their homes,” says Marta. “In both ventures, I want to capture their core and their form. I want to show themselves as they are, with their inner and outside beauty, their confidence and insecurities, their achievements and failures, proudness and calmness. It creates a moment of closeness and privacy.”