I am Johann Pinto, I live in Canada, and I express myself through photography.
What deeply makes me happy is theatre, surrealism, colour, and music. It allows me to create imaginary characters and scenes through which I live moments, vicariously. It inspires my photography.
That which does not make me happy, at all, is conformity. The behaviour in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards made by a few, to shove you in a box of acceptance and ultimately, oblivion.
Born in Latin America, bearing proudly my dark skin colour, my Spanish accent spill into the other languages I speak, being gay and happily married, and having a soul raised in aromas, love, flavours and empathy as a survival skill, will very quickly put you in a box of oblivion, once you move up to North America.
That racial struggle, to be me the human, and not the label placed on the assigned box, also inspires my photography. What used to be a daily and very hard load to bear was suddenly lifted off my shoulders, with the social movement resulting from the discrimination witnessed by humanity during the 2020 pandemic.
What I envision and create from this moment forward, no longer has the weight of a racial struggle or the limitations of the 4 walls of a box of conformity.
A new series, COVID-19, was inspired by all those feelings. Currently in the makes, the first image is ready and was published by The Montreal Gazette on April 20th
My route to Photography was not conventional; it started with collage making as an occasional hobby. Capturing self-portraits for that purpose evolved into a passion. It came instinctively in a journey of self-discovery.
Improving my knowledge and acquiring technique came as a result of hands on work, trial and error and the privilege of attending Photography courses and workshops in Europe and the US. It helped to polish my work to where it is today. I like to explore and get lost in my thoughts and translate them into my images. Unlike capturing real moments, I capture my thoughts and bring them to light.
Out of that period came my first series of self-portraits, Boys Will Be Boys, which quickly gained acceptance giving me the Olympus Prize in London – England in 2005, and their inclusion in the book Guide to Great Photography sponsored by Soura Magazine of Dubai.
The series that I enjoy the most is called “In Character Part 2 (unlikely bedtime stories), a continuous work started in 2017. Imaginary characters inclusive of everything that gives me joy.
On this website, all the series are included. Every series represents a different moment in life, a different dream, and a diversity of independent topics and places.
A great sense of pride and inspiration also comes from masters like Tim Walker, Nick Knight, Ruven Afanador, Erwin Olaf, Bruce Weber, and my mentor/friend Nassim Ghrayeb. I’ve met them all, stalked them all, and attended many of their presentations.
The dreams continue.
180 Degree Magazine/2005 USA
180 Degree Magazine/2006 USA
French Photo Magazine/Issue 449/May 2008 France
Soura Magazine/Issue 24/2009 Dubai
Eyemazing Magazine/Issue 1/2009 Holland French Photo Magazine/Issue 476/January-February 2011 France
Guide to Great Photography/May 2006 United Kingdom Soura Magazine Upcoming 5th Anniversary Book/2010 Dubai