At 21, David Uzochukwu is entirely self-taught, his passion for image-making starting when he was just 11. “I’d vaguely been into art, collecting small shiny things, and dancing. I started shooting on phones, lomography cameras, and point-and-shoots,” he says. “Aged 13, I took my first self-portraits, and that really tied me to the medium. It felt so personal all of a sudden, like I’d managed to finally grasp a thought I would only sneak around before.”
By beginning his creative journey so early, the photographer accepted that he’d “make a lot of bad work, and produce a lot and share little”, but he soon learned to trust his gut, so much so that by the time he graduated from high school he was comfortable with his photo-graphic process. Others were too, with the photographer landing a couple of magazine commissions from the likes of Wonderland and Hunger during his time in school.
It seemed likely that Uzochukwu would then attend art school to work on his craft, but something stopped him. “On the one hand I didn’t want to study anything too technical and wanted broader knowledge. On the other hand, I did half-heartedly apply to an art school, but I was too scared to come in for the part that required live drawing, and to a film school, having not made a film yet,” he says. Instead the photographer is currently studying for a BA in philosophy at Humboldt University of Berlin, the more “comfortable choice” for him right now.