People of Ryerson: First-year photography student

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By: Jake Kivanc

A man sits inside a coffee shop with a steaming cup of joe on the table before him and a freshly-inked tattoo of a masked woman that marks his left arm.

Chris* is a first-year photography student that likes to describe himself more as an artist.

“I’m really into fine art photography,” he says. “I try to express the photographer’s personality through the image as a metaphor. I leave symbols and hints to who that person is. Sometimes that’s me, sometimes it isn’t.”

According to Chris, photography has been with him since childhood thanks to his grandfather’s extensive history with photojournalism.

“I used to look through photojournalism books that were riddled with handwritten notes and got hooked from it. I was always visualizing me actually doing it in my mind.”

When Chris entered high school, his interests became reality when he got his first camera, which he quickly upgraded to a DSLR.

“Everything went up from there.”

Chris applied to a number of universities for photography, but eventually settled on Ryerson to escape from his hometown of Edmonton, a place he “has no plans on returning to anytime soon.”

Although Chris enjoys the program, he doesn’t place much weight on the system itself.

“I don’t think school’s done very much for me — the core of it, at least. It’s more about the people, the environment. We’re all doing art so it’s become sort of a catalyst for me to hone in on.”

And the world of art itself?

“Art is bullshit,” he says. “It’s really all interpretive, so I play on it. I want to be able to stay like a 4-year-old until I die and have people throw money at me to do interesting and stimulating shit.”

*A pseudonym has been used at the subject’s request.

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