Tropical beauties and the sea – An Interview with Andy Wauman

February 22th.
I sent a message to Andy Wauman aka Gutterdust, expecting an interview.
It took him one week to reply to me, which is totally normal, but in my head, seems like forever. I almost thought he would have changed his mind and cancel the interview. I didn’t want to.
Andy & his work inspired me in an odd way, like joy exploding in my chest. Knowing why wasn’t the issue, I wanted to know who was behind that art. We all see the photos, but we never see behind.

The cameras. The talent. The passion. The love.

  • Where did you grow up and when / how did you get involved with photography?
I grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. I started taking Polaroid when I was a young kid. My father was a photo chemist, so it was always around me. Polaroids are instants fun. 
  • Andy Wauman aka Gutterdust, what’s the secret behind the name?
I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teenager. Published my First Novel ‘Rack Novel’ in 2006. The Novel is a narrative about an apocalyptic character that walks through the urban landscape and expresses his feelings through poetry. 
Gutter stands for my love for the street and urban culture as that was the environment where I grew up in, skateboarding and hanging in the streets with the crew. Dust refers to the dust of a diamond. In my case, it’s the Dust of the Gutter. 
Playing the silver strings of the street. Sending music to the feet. And heart gliding in between. 

''In my case, it’s the Dust

of the Gutter.'' 

  • When you aren't creating artwork, what are you into?
I try to surf every day at sunrise and sunset, depending on the swell. For the rest I try to read and write a lot. I’ve been watching a lot of Films lately as an inspiration for my first feature that I’ve been working on for a while now. 
My Rack Novel is the starting point for this film. It will be an explosive film noir documentary-animation about urban culture.   
  • Your pictures are a good mix between girls, palm trees and the ocean. Where do you get your inspiration?
Last year, I decided to start travelling and ended up in Bali, where I started shooting on a Daily base. Made a film with http://deuscustoms.com/ and did a show at the Temple of Enthusiasm in Canggu, Bali. After Bali, I decided to go to California and ended up staying for six months shooting, travelling and surfing. That’s where Gutterdust exploded. I started collaborating more and more with a lot of people in the industry that covers the area between skateboarding ‘street’ and surfing ‘ocean’. Now I live in Bali and I will be travelling between Bali and Australia for photography and film projects, mostly in surf culture.  
  • Which kind of camera are you using? If I understand your latest hashtag, #staybrokeshootfilm, I believe you don’t use digital cameras?
I'm not against digital photography, but I mostly shoot film. I also recently started shooting on Super 8 and 16 mm film again. So much fun and magic.  

''Black and white is gold. I love the

energy and I think it’s very sexy.''

  • What's on your last roll of film/memory card?
My last roll of film contains a campaign I shot for http://www.natasha.net.au/ , the fashion label of my beautiful girlfriend. We shot it here in Bali. 
  • Who were the first artists that you found inspiring?
The first artists I got inspired by were mostly writers, such as Walt Whitman, Mikhael Lermontov, Jean Genet, Percy Byssche Shelley and many more…. 
  • What are you currently working on?
I’m currently shooting the last parts of a 30 min video clip I shot for http://www.creaturewiththeatombrain.com/ . My buddy Aldo Struyf made a 30 minute song with other musicians, such as Mark Lanegan and Tom Barman. We are currently shooting surf. The final result will be a black and white film all shot here in Bali. The images are also going to be used as a backdrop behind the band when they play at Festivals. A very exciting project. 
  • You did some films with brands, why have you chosen to film them in black and white?
Black and white is gold. I love the energy and I think it’s very sexy. Also love the graphical character of it. Next week I’ll be shooting super 8 in full colour. ;) 
  • Did you ever consider any other professions?
I saved some horses when I lived in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. A profession that involves animals always attracted me. 
  • What do you love most about being a photographer, and what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the job?
I like the challenge of taking a picture that dreams. I always try to catch a vibe. A feeling. Don’t take it too serious. And I don’t really look at myself as a photographer. I’m an artist with a lot of cameras and I’m never at the Job!
  • I recently checked your work in deeper and you are working in a large area of art: words, sculptures, analogue photography & films. Does it seem overwhelming having a passion for all these kinds of art?
Yeah, I’ve been doing Contemporary Art for a few years. I took a little break from it, but later this year I’m doing two solo shows in Europe. It will be a fresh start. Surfing came into my life and my environment changed, because I’ve been travelling and working a lot at tropical destinations, so these two exhibitions will be a result of that. Urban will meet the topics. A very challenging and exciting transformation within myself and my work as an artist. 
  • Biggest fear?
Not to be able to see. 
  • Where are you in 10 years?
I hope to be in a place like Byron Bay with my beautiful girlfriend and her little monkey. 

 

Continue your journey Andy and make us dream with all these palm trees & adventure stories.
Byron Bay is still far away, you’ve got the time to enjoy travelling.  
Follow him: www.gutterdust.com
Facebook: Gutterdust
Instagram: @gutterdust