Rocco Basile is the talented professional photographer behind Rocco Basile Photography, a studio and gallery based close to Basile’s home in Santa Barbara. An extraordinarily diverse artistic talent who has earned praise for his work across a multitude of genres, Basile seems to prefer his newfound role as a mentor to up-and-coming artists — a role he made possible with the founding of his Southern California studio and gallery.
Basile first earned recognition for his work as a photojournalist, which involved frequent travel and allowed the photographer to explore a wide range of interesting perspectives. The photographer’s global travels included multiple trips through Asia and Oceania, and it was during his extended explorations of these regions that he produced some of his most immediately recognizable work.
A graduate of Emerson College who went on to earn an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Basile continues to travel often but nowhere near as frequently as he once did. Basile is passionate about the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the artists who visit his studio and gallery, and he absolutely relishes his current role at Rocco Basile Photography in which he has been able to showcase the unique artistry of so many photographers and other visual artists from all over the world.
Do you know what steez is? If so, how do you express your steez?
Even if I didn’t, I’m not entirely sure I would be willing to reveal my ignorance on the subject, so perhaps my answer to the second part of the question will be revealing in one way or another: I’ve always found the concepts of perspective and perception fascinating, and my steez is best reflected in my explorations of each of these unique concepts.
When you were younger what was your dream occupation?
I always wanted to be an artist, but as a youth I would have probably referred to it as something along the lines of “master finger-painter.”
Who/What inspired you to get into your current field?
My family was very supportive of my artistic talents, and my mom always gave me subway tokens and rolls of film so I could spend the afternoon taking photographs of different parts of the city.
What is one current trend that excites you?
I love that the quality of the digital cameras in phones has progressed to the point where anyone can really explore the more artistic possibilities of photography.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?
I’ve enjoyed a successful career partly because of the early support of family and friends, so I founded Rocco Basile Photography to offer a similar level of support to the next generation of artists that might not have the support I clearly benefited from. Giving back to the art community in this way is my greatest accomplishment.
What do you think of social media? Has it made an impact on your professional career?
I think it is the most wonderful development and I am excited to see how social media will continue to influence the visual arts in the future. There are so many talented artists out there who have no idea that they are talented, but social media has made it possible for the art community to discover and support these talented individuals so they are able to realize their full artistic potential.
If you were ever to start again, would you do anything differently?
I would have spent more time learning different languages; there were far too many instances in which a simple miscommunication caused a serious problem for me in a place very far from home.
What do you see for the future?
I’m not sure, and I would never want to spoil all the fun of finding out if I knew what to expect in the future. I certainly expect to see wonderful changes to the art world.
What’s one piece of advice you can tell our readers?
The world is a more interesting place when you are able to see it through eyes other than your own, so make an effort to consider different perspectives and keep your mind open to new ideas. Innovation flows directly from unique perspectives shared amongst open minds.