A selection of Rota's body of works.
Q: Could you describe your least successful portrait?
A: Sometimes I can't connect with someone through the camera, even though there has previously been that connection with their face that has led me to invite them to take a portrait. I still do not know if it depends exclusively on me, my state of mind at that moment, my confidence and my inability - sometimes - to be connected with the present moment, or if it is a failure that depends on both (the photographer and the model). That is when it feels like an absolute failure, it makes me terribly sad, it's like drinking bitter wine.
Q: Is a portrait meant to be looked at for a long time?
A: I do not know if it should be watched for a long time, but I think it is meant to be returned to many times. Every time I return to a portrait of myself - or of another photographer - I see different things, I suppose like in a painting or a song. I think that one must always return to art, in each vital moment the work is perceived in a different way, it even changes completely, it becomes something else.
Q: What can we learn from portraiture?
A: To stop. To look. To listen. I think so, it has taught me to be more aware of the present moment, not to be in a hurry to respond - shoot - and to attend to the other, who is always an infinite being.
Q: What is the most important quality to possess as a portrait maker?
A: Curiosity, if you don't have it you are lost.
Q: Do you hope that the person portrayed will eventually identify with your portrait?