I was born a Friday the 13th in Lausanne Switzerland in 1961. My Grand-Father (seen above third row, far left), was a seaman in a landlocked country since he worked as a mechanic on the Lac Léman steamships at the turn of the century. I must have inherited some Sailor Alex genes from my Pépé Charles. In 1970, my Mom remarried and we boarded a cruise ship to Ft. Lauderdale Florida. It would be my first Atlantic nautical crossing. From then on I became an American, attending regular American elementary school and consuming Saturday morning cartoons. I also learned that it was frowned upon to have a friend of another color when I brought home my new classmate who happened to be black. At the age of eleven, I did not understand racism nor did my parents. They got some serious grief from the neighbors and I was not allowed to bring him or any other person of color to our apartment. It was after all, the Deep South.
I finished High School in Bellevue Washington, part of the Seattle suburbs, then went to Art School in the city. I thought I would create album covers for the band Yes like Roger Dean, but after my first course in storyboarding, I quickly realized that if I went into advertising I could make commercials or mini-movies. It was then that MTV came out. The music video was the rage. All along I took photographs with a 35mm camera, and developed black and white photos at the school’s lab. I had moved out of the suburbs and into Seattle, closer to school in an apartment with school roommates. Suddenly I fell in love with a beautiful brown eyed girl and her baby boy cocked or her hip. A few month later we moved in together and I was a young father.
I made it to The Big Apple in the early 80’s working on Madison Avenue as a junior art director. It wasn’t quite Madmen, but close. My boss, ad-legend George Lois, is considered the real-life Don Draper. We moved ourselves to a “up and coming” Ft. Greene Brooklyn, an area we could afford. We were part of the few whites in the neighborhoods, certainly the only white family. Our second son Sebastien was born there and he and his brother fell asleep to boom boxes blasting RunDMC and Grand Master Flash out in the streets. Spike Lee’s classic film, Do The Right Thing, is a pretty relevant portrayal of our Brooklyn experience.
After five years of living in the city, we moved to Switzerland and signed up for five more years in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi. We brought a third son stowed away in his mother’s belly who was conceived in New York but born Swiss. Then back across the Atlantic to Boston and Connecticut for an all-American lifestyle and more time in the ad biz, until one day a set of twin towers came crashing down. We pulled out the Swiss passports, and flew back across the ocean to settle in Montreux Switzerland. That was fifteen years ago.
For the past 35 years, I raised three boys, been in love, married, and worked as a creative in advertising. Today I’m free of kids, the advertising business and alone. I work as an independent film maker for a few clients and special projects. This allows me to earn just enough money to travel and create content that is fully independent and free thinking. I have worked on very special projects independently with such people as Nile Rodgers, Quincy Jones, The Mercury Phoenix Trust. Also, I’ve published articles and photography in books, magazines as well as exposed as a Fine Art Photographer. in 2014 I also completely re-looked and re-designed Swiss travel magazine Animan with a new logo and art direction. Animan Magazine has been an iconic publication in Switzerland, a true Swiss Made high end product. It never looked so good when I gave it my Suizo-Americano touch.
Now to bring an end to my self indulgence and narcissism, I must conclude this About Me page by simply stating that my end film credits say it best, “Imagined, shot and just done by Alexandre Guidetti”, and now aka Sailor Alex.