seenbyLYNCH — Let’s explore what’s behind the tagline.
Mastering the craft of photographing the aura of individuals, Romario Lynch has photographed reggae icons from Chronixx, Protoje, Runkus and others whilst revitalizing the scene around them through the lens of his camera.
The art scene that fills the Kingston atmosphere in Jamaica ranges from gallery exhibitions, art and music festivals, concerts, art kickbacks and a more popular series of art events known as “New Wave”.
Lynch grew up in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth with his mom where he later moved to Kingston to live with his father when he was 17. Living on his own from 19 he went on a journey of self exploration. Photography for him was something that was integrated and instilled in his creative gene before he even realized it. The necessity and the yearning of what he does and what he achieves each time is an invigorating feeling. His photographs capture the Jamaican youth culture perfectly.
Kesi Mortley: Party pictures are a whole lot different from fine art photography so the whole set up would be different but are your pictures premeditated? Do you think about what and how you’re going to capture the nightlife? How do you photograph the aura of the persons?
Romario Lynch: I’m a nostalgic person. My favorite kind of photos are old photos, because they, in a way, give me a chance to experience a particular moment in the past. When I take photos, I’m thinking that years ahead, my photos will do the same for someone else whether they were there or not. With the party scene, my goal is to capture people in their “truest form”. The nightlife photos on our popular social media outlets, I don’t find them genuine because people are posing for the photo; sort of putting on a mask for the public. When I shoot, the key is to be quick and stealthy. A fly on the wall. See a moment and capture it before they realize what I’m doing. That way, I’ll get all the genuine emotions and vibes of that moment.
KM: How did the thought of photographing our culture come about? Why do you do it day in, day out? Are you as fascinated as me to know that you’re probably paving the way for future young photographers (in this field)?
RL: I watch old videos and look at old photos of dancehall and hip-hop culture from the 80’s and 90’s. I find the images fascinating and I just think it’s necessary to capture the culture of my generation as well. The thought of having at least some influence on other photographers is quite humbling. This started out as just a hobby and to think that someone may be using my work as a guide gives a sense of purpose. It’s delightful.
KM: You said that you dropped out of school after the first year of 6th form. What was that period like for you? I remember the months leading up to my decision of dropping out I was more concerned with what people would say and all the questions I would have to answer. And I just never wanted to feel left behind. Seeing my classmates moving on without me, enjoying what they’re doing. And I mean at the time that you dropped out of school you would’ve been younger than when I did. What was that period of change like for you? The reflecting, the analyzing, just that entire thought process? High school is sort of a way more brutal scene, the pressure is way more.
RL: I was 17 at the time. I made the decision in a split second. Based on how I had always felt. I didn’t like school but I just stuck it out. Cape came around and when I saw the results I just said yeah, that’s it for me. Not going back. At the time I had picked up 3D modelling as a hobby (not taught in high school at the time) and was doing that in my spare time. When I dropped out of school, I moved to Kingston and applied that skill to help my father’s event production company. That’s where the hustle started and also where I began to “find myself”. I was optimistic. The fact that I just wasn’t going to school every day made me happy. I was happy for my classmates who moved on and I was happy for myself. I had dropped out along with my best friend so it was also a plus to have someone to go through that situation with.
KM: At what point in your life did you start finding yourself and going through the process of trying to figure out your purpose and just life in general?
RL: I wouldn’t stay there was a specific point where I began to find myself. I’ve been fascinated by images my whole life and I’ve been taking photos with phones since I was maybe 12. In my last years of high school, I was documenting my excursions with my friends and exploring photo editing and manipulation. When I moved out is when I got the freedom to channel my creative energy and explore this craft. September 2014.
KM: Is art something that you see yourself continuing for years to come? I notice you dabble in writing a little bit. Do you consider yourself a writer as well?
RL: I’ll continue to create as long as my creative juices flow and that won’t stop any time soon. I do write but I wouldn’t consider myself a writer just yet.
KM: What made you consider yourself an artist? Apart from the obvious answer of you simply just creating art. I mean if we wanna get technical, we were creating art when we were kids but no one ever considered us artists and I don’t think we (as kids) did either. I think there sort of comes a point where we become more than just people creating art. It’s a sort of self-actualization, and it becomes this distinct moment in the journey of you as an artist.
RL: For me, it was the fact that I was putting a great deal of my personality into my art. Part of me. You see my art and you see part of who I am as a person. Very rude.
KM: How did you end up making a name for yourself? How did the
‘seenbyLYNCH’ come about?
RL: I sort of just did my thing and people liked it. I was known for being creative in high school but I really became known for my photography in 2014. My art came through shortly after. It was known for being ‘different’. Sort of edgy. My photography is known for being ‘dutty’ yet clean — I like to call it muddy — and capturing the entire essence and atmosphere
of the moment. Same for my artworks.
Originally published on Medium.
Also published on Medium.
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Eccleston's work has been exhibited at the United Nations HQ, Trinidad & Tobago, Greece, Art Basel-Miami, Switzerland and Jamaica.