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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Photo Corner
Argentine Tangos
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Martin Villa

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 12, 2002
New York, NY

About the Author:

Martin Villa

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

Martin Villa (www.martinvilla.net) (917.771.3913), info@martinvilla.net, is well known in the NY Tango scene as a dancer and as a member of the SPICE and La Belle Epoque staffs. He is also an accomplished photojournalist and Tango photographer.

August 12, 2002, with Martin Villa, at Starbuck's, West 57th Street, over espresso and iced coffee.

REZ - Did you study photography in Buenos Aires?

MV - Yes, at Escuela Argentina de Fotografia, with Guillermo da Ronco, a good friend and photographer, who made me into a professional. He's one of the best still life photographers (wdaronco@yahoo.com) and lives in Mexico.

REZ - When did you arrive in New York?

MV - Two years ago. I've returned to Buenos Aires three times, but now I'm here.

REZ - Has photography been your main business?

MV - The first year in NY was very tough with no contacts. I lived in New Jersey and in Brooklyn. It was a tough time. I could not find work and spoke little English. I knew Europe, but did not know the States. I've made many friends here, now.

REZ - How did you develop your photography business here?

MV - Originally, I had a very bad experience with a partner, which made me much stronger. I decided to develop my career by myself. Basically, I'm a photojournalist, and my dance photography is a hobby. In Buenos Aires, I was a fashion and still life photographer.

REZ - Are you assigned journalistic photos, or do you market your portfolio?

MV - Usually I am assigned photos, but sometimes I market them. For my website, I needed dancers, and photographed several that you know.

REZ - How do you find the right moment for your photos?

MV - I try to get the most intense moment - in movement, in faces. A good Tango photo is difficult. You try to get the right emotion, the right expression, and good atmosphere.

REZ - Is Tango your photographic specialty?

MV - I'd also like to photograph Flamenco and Ballet.

REZ - Whom do you respect among today's photographers?

MV - I respect Vizzotto and Aldo Sessa from Buenos Aires. But, Vizzotto takes indoor Tango photos, and Sessa takes predictable poses. I try to find new places. I'd love to photograph Tango in a Church, but I cannot get authorization. Tango is too sexual a dance for a Church.

REZ - Have you had one best photographic moment?

MV - Every situation is a challenge. I am waiting for the best photographic moment. I lost my photo portfolio in the Buenos Aires airport, when I came to New York. But, now I'm here. I'm much stronger than before, and in one year I have a new portfolio, and a new website, with photos of new faces, even today.

Martin Villa on West 57th Street

Three Photo Essays by Martin Villa

Cecilia Saia and Ronen Khayat

Claudio Asprea and Agustina Videla

Maximiliano Sapoznik and Shiwa Noh

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