Interviews

Published on March 31st, 2017 | by Brandon H

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Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed and widely published work as a photojournalist, but those closest to him recognize that the photography expert’s principal passion lies in running Rocco Basile Photography, the Southern California gallery and studio he opened upon his return from an extended assignment that took him all over the Far East.

The native New Yorker and SoCal transplant holds degrees from Emerson College and the California Institute of the Arts. Since earning his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Rocco has become a dedicated supporter of visual artists all over the world and regularly hosts visiting artists at his studio and gallery.

Where were you born?

I’m a proud New Yorker. My family moved around a lot while I was growing up, so I’ve actually lived in four of the five boroughs that make up the city. I’ve always been grateful that I was able to live so close to one of the cultural centers of the world, and my parents made sure I never took for granted the proximity of so many museums and art galleries. My mom was especially supportive of my interest in the arts, and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the fact that she made sure I never ran out of film for my camera or tokens for the subway.

What’s your favorite film?

I’ve enjoyed every film I’ve seen from both Martin Scorsese and the Coen Brothers. The cinematography is simply astounding in their films.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

One of my oldest and dearest friends has an uncanny ability to quote the perfect song lyric or line of poetry for just the right moment. It was some time ago that we were discussing the magic of photography and the visual arts when he quoted a line from a song written by Robert Hunter, and that line has stuck with me ever since: “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?

Founding Rocco Basile Photography is the biggest accomplishment of my career, mostly because it has allowed me to support so many other photographers who are trying to make a career out of an artistic pursuit we all hold so dear.

What motivates you every day?

I’m motivated by the possibility that, at any given moment in time, I might catch a glimpse of something so beautiful and pure that it almost defies reality. These occasions are few and far between, but there have been a few instances in which I’ve been so moved that I failed to even reach for the camera.

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