Cicero deGuzman Jr. is a very talented photographer based out of Brooklyn, New York. I have admired his work and even had the privilege to watch him photograph my husband's bike for Cicero's GODSPEED 6/9 Book No. 0902. He's very soft spoken and would prefer to let his work do the talking. I would like to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to help me with this feature.
Name: Cicero deGuzman Jr.
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Company Name: Godspeed 45/06
How long have you been a photographer? I've been taking pictures since 1986. I started photographing motorcycles for myself in 2009. I haven’t shot a whole lot professionally. I have, however, been an art director for over 20 years. That's given me a chance to collaborate with some really great photographers... and that experience makes me critical of my own skillsets. I think I'm a pretty damn good art director. I actually know very little about photography.
What was your first camera? I don’t remember the model of the camera, but it was a 35mm Minolta that used to belong to my Mom. She put it down and I picked it up. I took pictures of things I liked... girls, skateboarding, graffiti, and neighborhoods I hadn’t been to before. I was just learning that the camera could get me access... to people, places, and experiences.
Favorite place to photograph? It doesn’t matter where, as long as people are doing something real. In my work, I don’t like to art direct, or pose people, or style locations, or even light my shots. For me personally, the value in my photograph comes from capturing a moment in time that will never come back. I want that moment to be honest and untampered with. Now, I’m not saying that that’s what I do, but that is what I would like to do better.
Best time of day to shoot? Doesn’t matter. I’ll shoot whenever. I don't like waiting for "good" light. There are photos worth taking at every hour of the day.
Who has been your inspiration in the world of photography? I guess you can’t shoot a chopper without being influenced by people like Danny Lyon, Bill Ray, Michael Lichter, Pulsating Paula, Adam Wright, and Michael Schmidt. Iconic photographers like Martin Parr, Mitch Epstein, and Larry Clark... and I love the work of Hedi Slimane, Boogie, Sian Kennedy, Alexis Gross.... there are too many photographers to go on about really.
What does it mean to you when people buy your books and images? The choppers are so damn beautiful in my eyes, and the freedom they embody can be appreciated by anyone. It’s been very special to be able to meet and hang out with the people that build and ride them. I’m such a fan, and that’s what the photographs are about; it’s me documenting and collecting what I can about these individuals, their bikes, their talent, and their stories. When other people take interest in my photography, it lets me know that they are just as inspired by these people as I am.
Anyone you would like to thank? Yes, mad thanks to Mom and Dad, the raddest wife in the world -Katie deGuzman, my son Rush, and to Keino Sasaki for encouraging me early on.
How can we follow your work?
Check out Cicero's exhibit at the Throne Room Gallery this Saturday night.
RECENT PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKS BY CICERO DEGUZMAN JR.
SATURDAY JANUARY 18, 2013 AT THE THRONE ROOM GALLERY
1839 S. COAST HIGHWAY OCEANSIDE, CA