I am more interested in poetry than fact, in the ever-so-slight transformation of reality achieved through a lyrical gaze rather than a supposedly "objective" depiction; I aim to inspire and move, not to inform. I feel that this aim, the unique way photography has of transforming the world while pretending to just objectively capture light waves, can best be pursued and revealed through the use of humble materials. The more mundane and 'uninteresting' the raw material, the more can the transformative poetry of photography itself come to the fore. My preferred subject is my metaphorical own back yard and the everyday life of the streets. The conjunction of my photographic gaze with chance and happenstance is essential to my approach, as is an emphasis on the evanescence of the encountered poetic moments I photograph. I am interested in fleeting gestures and glances, the momentary field of interaction between passing strangers, the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and street life. I try to visually organize the chaos of the streets just enough to contain it in the photograph, but hopefully not much more than that. I aim for understated pictures that can demonstrate how the ordinary and mundane can be transformed into something mysterious and enchanting when photographed, pictures that pose rather than answer questions. More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public spaces.
My project derives its title, Its Strangest Patterns, from a passage from the novel Netherland, by Joseph O' Neill: "[I'd] walk and walk until I reached a state of fancifulness, of indeterminately hopeful receptiveness ... there was a definite element of flight, and an element of capitulation, too ... and in this I was abetted by the streets of New York City, which abet desire even in its strangest patterns".
Dimitri Mellos was born in Athens, Greece. Since 2005 he's been living in New York City.
Having received little formal schooling in photography, Dimitri started photographing seriously and consistently about four to five years ago. His work has been exhibited in Greece, Barcelona, New York and Santa Fe, and is in private collections in Europe and the United States. He has received several awards for his work, including 2nd place in CENTER’s 2011 Editor’s Choice awards and 1st runner-up in Blurb's Photography Book Now 2011 contest; he was also a Finalist for the prestigious Fotovisura Grant as well as the Magnum Expression Award for 2011.
John Szarkowski said of Garry Winogrand that “his ambition was not to make good pictures, but through photography to know life”. Such an aim resonates deeply with Dimitri as well.