How is the Batman's daily routine?
Answer quickly: Who is your fave hero and what would you do if you met him at a bar or a library?
If you've never stopped to think about it, know that they have a routine somewhat similar to yours. At least, we've already seen Batman at the gym and drinking a milkshake, thanks to Sebastian Magnani's work.
Portraitist and visual artist, Magnani was born in the small village of Canton Valais, Switzerland, but lives and works in Zurich. He met photography in 2006, but it was in 2011 that he decided to leave a traditional job at an advertising agency to follow his dream. His works are everywhere, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, and many others, and he has won countless awards, including best photographer of the year to One Eye Land website.
One day, talking to his girlfriend, he realized that he would like to explore the human side of his favorite hero. Batman instigates us because he is mysterious, always covered in black leather, lonely, and as we know, human. The photographer then decided to explore this humanity in a series of portraits, The Daily Bat.
“Trapped in his everyday commitment to justice, Bat also needs time between that, even if it’s only for a short time. Just to have the feeling of a normal life next to his work, which takes him completely — just be human.” Says the description.
In an exclusive chat, MAGNANI told us everything he knows about the human side of Batman, in addition to the challenges of the profession during the pandemic, and how to keep creating, being his own superhuman in difficult times. Follow the bat-signal below. 🦇
You left traditional work and started to dedicate yourself to your dream. What can you tell us about building an artistic career with what challenges you?
Let’s say, it’s always hard to leave something which already works, and you need to always be courageous again. To change means leave it and restart, discovering new horizons and reaching out to the next level. I was always looking for more, something bigger, something to which I could give 100% of myself, being me — and that manifests now in art, where passion is first, where I’m starting with understanding a life commitment. Something that makes me complete and creates more happiness.
Before coronavirus, I was often not satisfied with my daily business as a photographer. You’re replaceable, nobody takes time, nobody really knows what they wanna have and, in the end, you take the responsibility. It really slowed me down, to be always ready for the next call, doing the job super fast, under pressure, and missing quality. Now, I try to be more focused and find the right clients who appreciate my style and vision.
During the pandemic, the daily business stopped radically. So I started selling my artworks, something I didn't spend a lot of time and energy on. I was always more motivated for creating instead of selling it. But I discovered that people loved to have my artworks on their walls. It’s an appreciation for the value of content and entertainment — a giving and taking and that’s how life works!
Now I feel I create something that stays in people's minds. It’s the truest language. It’s satisfying to do more epic sh*t — giving everything of yourself.
When did you discover your connection with superheroes?
When I met my girlfriend, we talked about who's the coolest superhero. For both, it was clear — Batman. I personally like the black mysterious character, lonely, dark, catchy, and iconic. I also love animals, so it’s the perfect match. Additionally, he is superhuman, which means he is a superhero without any superpowers.
Why did you pick him to show this human perspective?
Batman is a symbol of strength. He’s a rock, just perfect. But we all are not machines and far away from being perfect. We have feelings, and it isn’t always easy in a strong-oriented-superhuman society to show weakness. We hide a lot. So the human perspective brings more humanity into the immortal character Batman.
How do you explain the contrast between Batman's mighty leather clothes and cape and everyday situations?
I love to play and interact with high contrast. You can also see it in my other project Reflections. With Daily Bat, I break up the known, like a parody, I’m placing the superhero from the movies in unusual scenes.
And if you saw Batman waiting to pick up an order at the counter next to you IRL, how would you react?
To beam with joy. It was the same with the people who saw us during the shootings. Everyone, whether young or old, was talking about “Look, there is Batman” and all of them took tons of photos. It’s crazy, the man in the cape has always attracted attention over years, and I’m super happy to start with this project.
Isolated, in a cave, changing the day for the night, our last year made us a little Batman too.
Choose your mask here.