Q&A: Christian Filardo — Arroyo Teardrop


Are impulses more important than consequences? Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Impulses are extremely important to me. I choose to live by the philosophy of “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” perhaps this is a sign of my privilege, or maybe it’s just based on results yielded from past experience. However, when applied to photography, I always ask forgiveness, it’s easier that way. I often find that people forgive the fool, so if I’m ever confronted while making images I just act confused and people just let me on my way. Describe a cheap thrill. A cheap thrill for me is going ice skating after smoking weed, riding any kind of train, spitting off the side of a tall building or bridge. How often do you take other people’s advice? I don’t often take it, but I like to hear it. I find that I’m most willing to hear advice from people I respect. If I don’t respect you, I try my best to imagine I’m hearing Tchaikovsky “Symphony 6” while you ramble on. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? I actively believe in ghosts. Currently the house I live in is haunted and I’ve lived in many haunted houses in the past. Things get moved, I see shadows, hear things. So I suppose that’s the most plausible supernatural thing I believe in. I hope aliens are real but I’ve not experienced any proof of that yet personally. Describe a personal hell. The other day I described hell as being trapped in a library that only contained U-LINE catalogues, I still believe this to be true. Introspective bubble mailer moments in flames for all of eternity seems like too much for me. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. In recent memory I’ve been looking at a lot of square format work because I’ve been trying to grasp and understand the loss of verticality and horizon that occurs within a format where all sides are equal. Favorites have been Rinko Kawauchi, Kevin Lear, John Divola, and Anthony Hernandez. However, contemporary Italian photography is my favorite genre at the moment, I’m heavily inspired by Iacopo Pasqui, Rocco Venezia, Sara Palmieri, Matteo Cremonesi, Federico Clavarino, and many others. And of course I’m consistently inspired by the work of my peers Brad Trone, Emily Mason, Annika Berry, Bucky Miller, Dianne Weinthal, Forrest Soper, Carlo Brady, and Jeff Downer to name a few.

Which living person do you most admire? On the real, the living person I most admire is my mother. She is a selfless angel who always puts others first and has helped countless people in their lives. Love you momma! On what occasion do you lie? I lie in order to protect the emotional or physical well being of myself or those I love. Or when I drink all the orange juice (with pulp) and put the empty carton back in the fridge. Ultimate camera? Most used camera? My most used camera is a Contax G2 with a flash, but the ultimate setup to me would be a Mamiya7 with a big Metz flash! Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Currently, I am the head “researcher” at PHROOM magazine, which I do for free. Writing about photography helps me to further my conceptual and visual perception of the medium itself and helps drive my desire to better my own work. To be critical is to be reflective and to comprehend through self reflection is everything. What part of the planet would you like to explore? Right now I want to return to Italy, and I’d really like to spend some time in Japan, the Philippines, and Ireland. I used to have a reoccurring dream that took place in Hawaii so I’ve always been curious. I hear good things about Montreal and Melbourne. In all honesty though, Mongolia, South Africa, or Iran would be nice. I’d see it all if you put me on a flight! Which talent would you most like to have? I’d like to be a great jazz clarinetist, i’d also like to be better at forgiving myself and others. What is it that interests you about photography? Photography allows me to remember that which I have forgotten. It allows me to explore that which interests me both directly and passively. Democratized and accessible photography is both reality and illusion. Simultaneously, it’s both the present and the past. I can photograph everyday, it’s one of the greatest gifts that life has given me.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Filardo uses their camera to record everyday nuances, later grouping images to create narratives from the mundane, intimate, and quiet.

Filardo writes critically for photo-eye and PHROOM. They have exhibited domestically and internationally.

To see more of Christian Filardo’s work visit — Website / Instagram.