Design42Day Photokina 2018

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Photokina 26-29 September 2018 koelnmesse Cologne, Germany

Photo cover by Marta Bevacqua model: Marine Barbier



Photokina Special Issue

As the leading trade fair for the entire photo, video and imaging sector, Photokina is a must for any pro and hobby photographer, as well as exhibitors from these sectors. With more than 1,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors from around 130 countries, the photo world is coming together. Design42Day is present at this exceptional event with a special issue and a selection of 19 players in photography directly reaching the decision makers of the industry and giving the possibility to share news and new talents. Design42Day has interviewed Philipp Mühlbauer, co-founder of Picanova, a global player in the area of individual wall decoration and organizer of the Photokina’s competition

“Top 100 Photography Award”.





In Homage to Humanity, photographer Jimmy Nelson takes you on a new and extraordinary journey, visiting indigenous communities dotted across five continents. His iconic, intimate and spectacular images from each destination are accompanied by travel journals, maps, local facts, and personal interviews with some of the people portrayed. Join Jim Jimmy Nelson on an odyssey that takes him to some of the planet’s most remote and beautiful places, home to many vibrant, thriving but sometimes fragile cultures. We hope this book will be a catalyst for a meaningful discussion about all our futures. To accompany Homage to Humanity, Jimmy and his team have created a companion mobile app. It is a remarkable record of their journeys on a state-of-the-art platform, with immersive 360 films, behind-the-scenes footage, storytelling and more. With the app you will be able to scan every image within the book. Scanning the photographs will open up a world like you have never seen before. Download the free Jimmy Nelson app on the Appstore or Google Play.


For the invisible You can’t see me, but I’ve been here all day. I’m in the thick of the action, but I’m not in your face. My eyes burn and my feet ache: I’ve immersed myself in the moment, so you can lose yourself in yours. I’ve made myself invisible, so you can be seen. To do the image justice – I have to print Epson.

for the moment

See more accounts from Europe’s award-winning photographers on their journeys to capture the perfect moment. Our ProPhoto ambassadors reveal the secrets behind their vision and success. 10

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Special Issue

Photokina 2018

Editor in Chief Riccardo Capuzzo

Art Director Eugene Wood

Advertising Manager Thomas Walker

Production Managaer Laura Beljanski

Web Editor

Oliver Smith

Copy Editor Jovana Todorović

Graphic Designer Robert Harris

Editor's Assistant Paula Starck

ŠDesign42Day. All content is protected by copyright with all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the express written permission of the Editor in Chief is prohibited.

All the pictures' royalty credits belong to the respective photographers. WWW.DESIGN42DAY.COM


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Ben Thomas Cody Cobb Philipp MĂźhlbauer - Interview Ken Hermann Dirk Bakker Steve Gindler Akif Hakan Celebi Cris Gravin Thomas Devaux Luca Tombolini Jimmy Nelson Matteo Tranchellini & Moreno Monti Vova Malisev Marta Bevacqua Simone Guidarelli - Interview Rachelle Mendez Olga de la Iglesia Jonathan Higbee Nirav Patel


Ben Thomas

Ben Thomas is an award-winning Australian photographer awarded with the Hasselblad Master in 2018 and the LensCulture Emerging Talents Juror’s Pick in 2016. His work mainly focuses on architectural urban and cityscapes around the world, exploring various photography techniques and elements that frame the urban world differently, making viewers re-evaluate their surroundings and see these settings through another perspective. Armed with a camera, Thomas passionately studies the cities he visits and painstakingly adapts his techniques to capture the souls of places in ways never seen before. His internationally-acclaimed collection, Cityshrinker, was one of the pioneering works that popularized the tilt-shift technique, or the miniaturization of the subjects. By adjusting the depth-of-field in his camera, Thomas transforms major metropolises like New York, Paris, and Tokyo to look like tiny toy models. Through Thomas’ lens, the Louvre feels like it fits in the palm of one’s hand, and people walking in the busy streets of Tokyo look like miniature figurines. Thomas plays on people’s familiarity with iconic cities. At first glance, it is the architecture everyone recognizes, but one is quickly reminded that there is something unusual about the familiar. In this way, the artist disturbs the viewer’s familiarity, such that a close inspection of what once was recognizable is now done without preconceptions. Having said that, Accession is perhaps even more disorienting. In what may be seen as the photographic version of the movie Inception, Accession turns cityscapes upside-down, shaking viewers’ beliefs of what familiar cities look like. Thomas’ kaleidoscopic technique removes the sky from the images, creating an outside world with ceilings. The geometry of the skylines are transformed into mirror images, accentuating the repetitive lines that form the foundation of the modern, urban landscape. The Chroma series is loudly bursting in color but somehow assumes a certain flatness and Barbie-esque madeup world that looks like it was hand-painted. In this particular body of work, Thomas allows the local weather to color the images, exuding a sunny, highly-saturated summer holiday with striking blue skies set in architectural cityscapes. Through Thomas’ focus on rethinking the mundane, demonstrated in Chroma’s almost cartoony aesthetic, viewers, in a way, revisit the beauty of the cities he photographs. - Carolina Bruni -







Cody Cobb

Born in Louisiana, Cody Cobb is known for his ability to capture the sometimes surreal beauty of the American West. With a distinct style and focus on sceneries that have not yet been affected by human actions, Cody’s photography celebrates the environment and his own emotional fusion with the wilderness. All of this translates to beautiful compositions marked by desolation, compelling colour juxtapositions, and intricate details. Cody’s introduction to photography happened via photo collages, a medium he was infatuated with during his teenage years. This period hugely contributed to his understanding of textures and shapes and the way they naturally occur around him. His later work as a graphic designer and 3D animator allowed him to fund his weekend trips to the western coast of North America in order to capture the eclectic sceneries of the region. However, it was not until his work got exhibited at Exposure LA that his interest in photography grew into something way more serious. After receiving acknowledgement and advice from the leading industry professionals, it was only a matter of time before Cody decided to jump-start his career as a full-time photographer. Cobb’s aesthetic is defined by the scale and the texture of imposing mountain terrains and cliffs, as well as desolate wastelands. In many ways, his oeuvre is a dramatic documentation of geological forces that keep shaping the continent. However, there’s a crucial difference that sets Cody’s photography apart from the work of any other landscape photographer. Unlike his peers, Cody does not plan his photos nor creates any special setting for them. The only criteria for snapping the image is the presence of a momentary emotional connection with the environment, a feature that’s almost physically present in all of his photos. The ragged edges of mountains laying in their natural state often become the focal point of his images, with human presence limited to zero. Another omnipresent motif in Cody’s work is solitude. Capturing the immense forces that shape the Earth’s crust, often picking remote trails and routes not accustomed to human presence, Cody prefers to be alone in order to experience nature for what it is. Capturing his work in complete solitude, Cody seeks to deepen his perception of Earth’s beauty, all while subjecting himself to introspection about his own place in this world. Today, Cody Cobb is constantly travelling to different locations in both professional and personal pursuit. His current goal is to produce a body of work that’s comprised of editorial publishings and personal exhibitions. - Michelle Oven -





interview Philipp Mühlbauer

Design42Day had the pleasure to interview Philipp Mühlbauer, co-founder and Managing Director of Picanova Group. Picanova is currently listed as one of the world’s market leaders for individual wall decoration with focus on photo canvases in the “Encyclopedia of German world market leaders” and has grown into an expert in masscustomization and eCommerce. Picanova has seen a growing demand within the artists and photographers segment and would like to support this market with better services. Philipp, you are the co-founder of Picanova and thus an entrepreneur, which I am sure many of our readers can relate to. What was the reason for starting this business? My brother, Daniel and I launched Picanova with the goal to make the most valuable memories as individual wall décor affordable for everyone. When we started, prices were high, the product was quite unknown, and the quality was often bad. So we had to change quite a lot, and by now, the custom wall décor market has become a global multibillion dollar industry and most people are aware that these products exist. I am sure that we are at least partially responsible for the success stories of our industry. Lowering the prices as much as we did forced others to do the same and to become better as well. The result was that custom wall décor suddenly became affordable as a gift which made the quantities skyrocket. How did you manage to be so competitive? Well, it’s not one thing but a mix of many. We invested a lot of time and money in our lean and efficient manufacturing. We control the complete supply chain, from producing the materials ourselves, to printing and servicing for our final customers. Overseeing all of this is quite complex, but it differentiates us from many competitors. We have now an amazing team of 1000+ people across 4 different offices with factories (Germany, Latvia, U.S and China), producing up to 150.000 products a day. Interesting, how do you balance the mix of creative freedom and functional efficiency? It is not always easy, but I am sure that our many photographers and your creative readers understand the difficult stretch between “vision and creativity” while ensuring a stable income stream. In our case, I am responsible for 1000+ jobs, if you think about it. We are a family, in the case of my brother and myself as the two founders even literally! But yes, focusing on revenue and the numbers while staying creative is the biggest challenge we face as well as many of our customers. And that is the reason why we have created products and services such as Photo. Club for photographers and for artists. How so? Can you tell us more? is probably of special interest for our photographers and readers. Now we have a platform on which you can upload your pictures and create your own shop in a couple of steps. You’ll be able to sell for example your own pictures on canvases, cups, t-shirts and textiles. You are creative, we do the rest! Do you see this as a one-stop solution for photographers to sell? Yes, exactly. It is hard work on our end and a new playground, but you see, we have seen the demand and the need in this market, and for us, Picanova Group, this project is also a way of giving back to the photographer community. After all, without photos, Picanova would maybe not even exist. And that is why we have decided, this year, to be the key sponsor at the Photokina in Cologne, Germany as well as to give photographers a chance to exhibit their best pictures on our stand! Is this the Top 100 Photography Award? Yes, that’s right. By the time, this magazine is printed, the winner will have been announced already. But to recap quickly: We have an amazing jury, whose members chose from photographs sent from all over the world by signing up at The annual fee is normally 49 EUR but for the duration of the award, the first year is for free and you can start selling your own photos and designs printed on pillows, blankets, canvases and much more or order yourself if you like. 500 photo-prints are free of charge! The 100 winner photographs will be presented to the public during Photokina in Hall 1 within a 1000 square meter exhibition. Any final words to our readers? I would love to see as many of your readers and amazing photographers at our booth B-30/C-37 in Hall 3.1, hear about your challenges and how we can support you best. Our team will also be able to answer any of your questions. Also, if you sign-up during Photokina via our booth, we will waive the 49 EUR fee for you as well!



Ken Hermann

Danish photographer Ken Hermann documents personal and cultural histories through beautifully staged portraits and still-life images. His strong point of view tackles the intricacies of representation of cultures and people in photography, giving us a sneak-peak into the colorful and somewhat exotic life of people from around the world. Bökh is a collection of images of Mongolian wrestlers. This particular body of Hermann’s work delves into the ancient traditions that trace their roots to Genghis Khan, where families wish for sons that could become battle-ready wrestlers. Wrestlers in their colorful Mongolian pants are photographed in the vast grasslands of the country, standing proud and strong as they bear the long history of their cultures in their stance. Hermann masterfully shows the spirit of a Mongolian wrestler in his images. There is tension and movement in the photographs, as if they are warriors during Khan’s time, waiting to battle enemies. Hermann also went to the Ethiopian Omo region to document the tribes that have lived there for thousands of years. The portrait of the Omo Valley individual is particularly intriguing because it is like we are taken back in time, as if that very individual is from a very distant past, living harmoniously with nature before humans ever knew how to manipulate it. Hermann’s images from Ethiopia were curated to form a photobook he titled The Beauty of the Omo Valley. Having described two of his many works from far-flung regions of the world, the ethics of representation take center stage. Here, we have a photographer travelling to rarely visited areas with his camera and lighting gear to take portraits of people who have almost no contact with the outside world. To some, it may seem like a very problematic thing to do, considering how it may seem like his visits are disruptions of the natural way of life of the people. But Hermann’s photographs are not like old images of exotic people. His images are meant to give a sense of pride and justification to the people he documents. It was not meant to differentiate the natives from the foreigners, like hundreds of years ago when Europe first started exploring other territories. In fact, his images were meant to show that our world is a diverse and colorful place, with different ways of living. -Kate Dolby -





Dirk Bakker

A former graphic designer from the Netherlands, Dirk Bakker, is a photographer in love with architecture. The term he has coined for his pieces is PhotoGraphic. In his pictures, we can oftentimes see how he isolates parts of buildings, and by steady repetition he creates a rhythm within a photo which gives a sense of calmness to the beholder. His pieces reflect his love for lines, shapes, architecture and reflections, and even though photography was his hobby years ago, he says that he had lost interest and stopped taking photos with his SLR camera. Some years later, it was Instagram that reignited his passion for the art. One of the most thrilling things about this artist is that he finds inspirations in everyday objects. He doesn’t make photo journals of remote places around the world; he takes shapes, reflections, water, buildings, creating his own rhythmical worlds of imagery. While you may think that there is a slightly dull tone to symmetry lines and repetition, which are the essential points of Dirk’s works, once you take a closer look at them, they’ll prove you wrong. When working in his city, Amsterdam, he cruises on his bike, always on the lookout for something new and fresh. His portfolio features architecture as such, but every single photo by Dirk Bekker is a unique work of art. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the only place you’ll see in his pieces is Amsterdam. Thanks to the project he’s been involved in, named SeeMyCity, he has had many opportunities to travel around and capture moments precious to him. The idea behind the SeeMyCity project is to create mobile photos of every city around the world and post then on social media, thus promoting the places. Dirk is one of the founding members of the project, which is another thing that put his name in the spotlight and established him more in the role of an influencer. - Jovana Todorović -





Steve Gindler

Steve Gindler, who also goes by his Russian name Cvatik is a young photographer from Northern New Jersey. His works encompass both the analog photography and digital imagery, with amazing colors, models and ambience. For Cvatik it all started not so long ago, while he was trying to resolve some personal issues, social anxiety and the fact that he wasn’t sure where exactly his life was heading. Photography, for him, was the perfect way to use all the drive and creativity he had, and what started out as an Instagram profile, turned into a flourishing career. His photos are an adventure, as most of them are set in unexpected and unusual places, and when you work in such conditions, you need to be a master of improvisation. A girl, on a bed in the middle of nowhere proves this, as the idea for the photo was originally different. His models rarely sit or stand, or strike a pose in the basic sense. Their body postures are unexpected, some would say even weird. His works literally explore the flexibility of human body, putting it into shapes we rarely imagine. Pretzel like bodies, their spines bent, are sensual despite the fact that some of these postures might strike us as unnatural at the first glance. Cvatik isn’t here to shock; he’s here to communicate through the women whose photos he takes. By using some of the latest technology, guaranteeing high quality, his photos have a strong sense of nostalgia, taking us through time back to Victoriana. There isn’t too much of anything in Cvatik’s photos. Not too much erotica, not too much color, not too much intensity. Cvatik takes us for strolls through woods, houses, bathtubs, fields, and it is those places where his stories unfold. Photography for him is the perfect means of communication, with his models, the environment and the audience. Cvatik’s first photobook is to be published this coming fall, and pre-orders start from September 1st. Having many of his works in one place is something to truly look forward to. - Jovana Todorović -







Akif Hakan Celebi

Akif Hakan Celebi, a Turkish- American photographer, loves traveling and incorporating experiences from his journeys into his works. He set out to push limits, and that is exactly what he does through his photographs. He plays with nudity, portraiture, glamour, colors and different settings, varying from one of the busiest neighborhoods in Tokyo to domestic settings, like bathrooms, kitchens, etc. And his efforts aren’t unnoticed. In 2006 he was chosen as one of the top ten best new generation photographers in Germany and more and more people are amazed by his work. His photographs have been, on many occasions, described as freeze-frames of a film, adding a cinematic tone to what he does. Feminine sensuality has been featured in most of his works, where the audience can see many ethnicities, but Asian women, famous for their porcelain-like faces and pearly white skin are predominant. There aren’t many things about erotica Akif doesn’t toy with; female body in its various shapes, sensuality of his models’ eyes, the clothes he chooses for them. He even goes in and out of BDSM. And each and every photo you see by him could easily be a shot taken from a movie. Another thing that stands out about Akif’s photos are the colors, thanks to which his work has more than once been described as expressionistic. The use of colors cannot go unnoticed in his pieces. And we aren’t talking solely about the colors of the places where he decides to shoot. It’s also his models who wear clothes of vivid colors, and heavy make-up. What sets him apart from other young and aspiring photographers is the fact that he shoots what he wants and how he wants, making sure that none of his works bear a resemblance to anything that has been done in the past. And he’s succeeding, because, as we have already mentioned, when one sees his pieces, they aren’t simply photographs, they are like precious moments taken out of films. - Jovana Todorović -





Cris Gravin There is something truly mesmerising and hypnotic about Cris Gravin’s photographs. They are architectural elements that are meant to intrigue and disorient the viewer by creating illusions of infinite progressions. But the vertigo quickly disappears as we see the design details of the staircases and the hallways he photographs. The inviting view of the Gravin’s images makes it seem like they are rabbit holes waiting for Alice to travel to Wonderland. It bids you to jump or to cross, to get sucked in to its beauty and mystery. It forms an unbelievable attraction between you, the viewer, and the other side of the image. What lies at the other end? What is there for us to see? These are the very questions you often find yourself asking as you browse through these images. And as you descend – or ascend, however you look at the image – you are quickly reminded of time being transcended. One of the key themes in Gravin’s work is the presentation of ornate and grand staircases and hallways that feature different design elements from different eras. The photograph may be the same as always; the symmetrical helix of staircases are photographed from above as it is meant to show its shape as the focal point. But the experience is always different. A staircase might have modern edges to it, or it curves in a feminine way. It is as if each image is a different dimension, a different world that you are trying to enter so effortlessly. Perhaps that is the greatness of architectural marvels. They have their own stories to tell and worlds within their walls. The design movements that shape how a staircase is meant to flow or how detailed the walls of a hallway should be documents not only the artistic prowess of the designer that conceptualised it but also the aesthetic that was prevailing at the time. But even more fascinating is that Gravin was able to capture the essence of the building and transform it into a mysterious portal that anyone around the world would find enticing to enter. - Sam Walsh -





Thomas Devaux

Thomas Devaux is a Paris-based visual artist and photographer with a unique body of works. His rubble-based work is best described as ruder plasticity. Devaux’s work dislocates and blurs figures in an unusual and rather disturbing way. He has experimented with plenty of artistic expression mediums such as photography, collages and painting. The distinct features of Devaux’s work are clear in his Attrition I & II series. The title of the series that refers to a substance being lost due to wearing and friction is an excellent description for the haunting nature of its pieces. After exhibiting his photos during the inauguration of his new Paris nightclub in 2012, David Lynch expressed his admiration for Devaux’s work: "His portraits of women taken at fashion shows and art openings, which are then digitally reworked, have a timeless grace that denounces with elegance the ephemeral character of beauty ... Madonnas damned for all eternity." By the end of 2012, Thomas Devaux’s work -that combines painting with photography- was included in several prestigious art collections in Paris. After that, his work started gaining a global momentum and was exhibited in numerous countries. When you look at his compositions, you’ll instantly notice the distinct diffused background aesthetic, which was popular in Renaissance paintings. Despite the Renaissance era aesthetics and respecting the classical conventions of divine and religious representations, Devaux’s work is rather confrontational. There are many aspects of the compositions that create a weird feeling of sexual tension. Creating such a twisted version of familiar-looking Renaissance paintings is something that makes the work disturbing in a rather unusual way. Another theme that is dominant in this series is fetishist questions like the human body being viewed as a masterpiece or even merchandise. Things like blurred body parts and suggestive themes strengthen the overall haunting nature of the works and make them even more thought-provoking. When you look at the rest of Devaux’s work, you’ll find that the powerful haunting theme is still there. As every piece of his series provokes powerful emotions, Thomas Devaux’s work is nothing short of extraordinary. - Maia Thomas -





Luca Tombolini

After studying communication sciences and Italian cinema, Luca Tombolini followed his passion for photographing desert areas, a hobby which eventually led him to visit some of the most remote locations on our planet. Luca’s style of landscape photography involves the blurring of lines between reality and fantasy. In order to create these surrealist landscape snaps, Luca first looks for what he calls the perfect location. The creative journey starts by exploring the world via Google Earth. Using the simple application, he finds the perfect photo material and thus the destination of his next voyage. This is where the tricky part begins. The logistics are usually the most obvious issue of Luca’s creative process. As his passion often leads him to some of the most extreme locations found in regions around Spain, Morocco, Iceland and the western parts of North America, the journey for the perfect snap can stretch across continents and multiple time zones. As some projects require an extended stay at the location, Luca has to take care of all logistics-related tasks, such as arranging the transportation of his camera and camping gear to the mostly desolate locations where the shoot usually takes place. Once this is taken care of, Luca can finally start looking for inspiration. “I like the whole story of being there to photograph,” says Luca. “The journey, the arrival, the fact I’m camping and living in the area for some days and the time spent alone and far away from everyday life. While doing so, I also like to try to get a different perspective on the landscape, relying more on the feelings rather than pure aesthetics.” This new perspective often produces otherworldly shots that seem to belong to some dream realm. In fact, at times, it’s hard to tell if the image you’re looking at is an actual photograph or computer-generated imagery. This dream-like quality is exactly what sets Luca’s work apart from that of his contemporaries. “Once I’ve arrived I like to roam around the place and see it changing in the cycle of night and day,” he says. “While doing so it usually emerges quite clearly which are the most interesting views and when to photograph.” This scouting process is especially important as Luca doesn’t tweak colours or touch up shots. “What I get out of the scanner is what you’ll see printed,” he says. - Mikael Fernstrom -





Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson’s latest work, Homage to Humanity, stars indigenous communities over five continents, connecting the dots of what it means to be human above all cultural shapes and forms. A visual journey brought to life by an immersive technology. Where does photography end and anthropology start? By staring at one of Jimmy Nelson’s mesmerising shots, one has to wonder. The world-famous British photographer has been championing truthfulness and authenticity through his lenses for the past thirty years, traveling non-stop across the world to reveal faces and places of stunning beauty, otherwise destined to stay unknown to most. Moreover, the subjects of his pictures are framed in the natural landscapes where they live in a unique bond, producing images of strong impact and immediate appeal. Luckily for us, his latest work Homage to Humanity is on its way and will be on the shelves by Fall 2018. Published in a glorious coffee table format by Rizzoli, in collaboration with Pictures Publishing, the 520 pages book features a foreword by US fashion legend - and devoted fan - Donna Karan and pays tribute to more than thirty indigenous communities over five continents, from the Sharchop in Bhutan, on the Himalayas region, to the Mundari in South Sudan. The volume is different from Nelson’s previous editorial works, as it was conceived as an interactive journey in which the reader gets engaged directly. In fact, one can go well beyond turning pages to access extra contents via an ad-hoc app paired with a cardboard 3D viewer. 360° film material, behind the scenes videos, storytelling and direct commentary from the author will all be part of the reading experience, enhancing this book to be an immersive device. No photography could serve this purpose better than Jimmy Nelson’s beautiful images. On the one hand, over the years his shots have become synonymous with self-discovery and cultural connection. By watching the intense glance of an unfamiliar face, adorned by equally exotic clothes and original makeup, hairstyle and jewellery, we actually mirror ourselves as humans to see our very essence. Despite aesthetic differences, in shapes and forms, we finally sense a feeling of belonging in which we’re all one in our differences. Which is, perhaps, Nelson’s greatest gift to the reader. On the other hand, there’s the nature element: the greatest bond that captures the imagination and soothes the mind. Whether one’s a committed traveler, hopping around from one remote destination to the next, or more of an imaginary explorer, this volume helps to escape the usual four walls to discover new horizons and expand the mindset. An homage to humanity and, ultimately, to ourselves. - Rosario Morabito -







Matteo Tranchellini & Moreno Monti

High fashion and chickens – the curious combination of these two seemingly incongruous elements is the theme of photographer Matteo Tranchellini and long-time collaborator Moreno Monti’s new photo collection titled CHICken. Playing on the word chic, CHICken features chickens photographed as high-fashion models, creating an eccentric interplay between the mundane world of farm animals and the luxurious sphere of designer styles. Photographed at an avian exhibition in Milan, the collection began as a personal passion project for Tranchellini. In the process of looking for a Cochin chicken as a pet in 2013, Matteo met a farmer who introduced him to the exhibition – an astonishing set of birds in different breeds, sizes, and colors. Together with Monti, Tranchellini set out to photograph dozens and dozens of the birds in compositions highlighting the chickens’ elegance and sophistication in their natural states, treating them as if they were the subjects of fashion magazine covers. The obsession quickly grew into a collection of more than 200 photographs featuring 100 types of chickens, launched exclusively on Kickstarter as a printed coffee table book and a wide range of charming accessories. The collection playfully juxtaposes the proud and flamboyant portraits of the birds with quotes, such as “Woke up like this”, “I’m sexy and I know it”, and “Bad Hair Day”, injecting some very human sensibilities and contemporary humor into the out-of-this world images of the chickens. Tranchellini is not new to the world of high-fashion photography, with his works having been featured in various well-known fashion publications, such as Vogue Italia, CR Fashion Book and Bazaar. Tranchellini’s hallmark is a striking play between light and shadows, with a high-contrast feel invoking a clean, modern vibe, allowing him to capture stunning colors and textures that would not otherwise have been visible. This signature works perfectly well with his portraiture; his images are crisp and concise boldly featuring every minute detail of the subject. Tranchellini’s style is on full display in the CHICken collection, with his use of contrasts bringing a unique feel to the work, highlighting the textures of the birds’ feathers and allowing them to stand out in an almost hyperrealistic manner. Moreover, Tranchellini’s sublime use of light and dark areas magnifies the subject, giving them a larger-than-life presence. As a result of Tranchellini’s prowess in lighting, contrast, and composition, color becomes a focal point of his pieces. Through the combination of the hues in front of his camera, the birds come alive in magnificently rich and vibrant images that intimately strip the chickens down to their essence while, at the same time, highlighting their most striking features, showing Tranchellini’s utmost passion for and confidence in his subjects. The translation of these subtleties into print is made possible by the painstaking attention to detail and quality that has gone into the production of the collection. With the book priced at €47 and the accessories starting at €10, the CHICken collection uses only an exquisite certified paper created exclusively with cellulose fibers from sustainably-managed forests, packaged in Italy to ensure the utmost quality of the product. -Sam Walsh -







Vova Malisev Vova Malisev, who's just nineteen, is into photography, video production and modeling. It was very early in his life, at the age of thirteen, when his career started, and he got introduced to filming and working with a camera. Some would argue that someone so young wouldn't be able to see clearly what their career would be all about, but this wasn't the case, as he has become an astounding artist. Vova's work focuses mainly on self-portraits, which is kind of a déjà vu, right up to the moment you lay your eyes on them. Vova’s self-portraits invite us to take a peek, and we enter his world, the place where he lives. And there’s nothing child-like in there, in spite of his age. There’s fantasy, erotica, he toys with gender, make-up, hairstyles, there’s depth, darkness, emotion. Using completely ordinary objects, such as shoes, cups, bananas, he creates multilayered images, which are bound to make you feel something. Vova’s self-portraits don’t have to be right up your alley, they aren’t mainstream, and they surely aren’t looking for approval or a pat on the back. Vova’s art is dauntless, unstoppable, triggering. Choosing to do self-portrait has most definitely been the right decision to make, because he couldn’t have chosen a better model than himself. No matter how innocent-looking some of his photos are, there is something about his appearance that will give them a touch of an un-everydayness. Although the positions he puts his body into, and the atmosphere of his images don’t always seem inviting, Vova’s facial expression remains unchanged, giving a sense of serenity, being at peace and sending a wordless message that he’s exactly where he wants to be – in his own portraits. Although Vova is just starting his journey through the world of art, the world we all know as merciless, it is obvious to the beholder that Vova needs no luck. We can all hope his art will soon turn into a powerful force, because there’s a lot he can give to this world. - Jovana Todorović -







Marta Bevacqua For Marta everything started in a little out- of-the-ordinary way, just like all great things do, somewhere between reality and fantasy. There is a fine line between the two w orlds, and Marta has successfully been tiptoeing on both sides of it, turning ordinary into extraordinary with a pinch of help from her magic wand. Did I say magic wand? Sorry, I meant her camera and her 50 mm lens. An internet search for her characters in an online role-playing game was the game changer for Marta. Inspired by what she saw, she started making portraits of her friends and sisters, which later, when she dived into fashion photography, evolved to captivating art. Our brains have been trained to think about fashion photography in one particular way, we get mental images of these skinny, long-legged, breathtaking beauties on the runway, but Marta offers something truly different and original. Marta’s models, as she says herself, probably aren’t women you would notice just walking down the street, they are not your average head-turners. No. Her models have particularity, they tell stories, they are pensive, mindful. Their hair is unkempt, their skin covered in freckles, their mascara smudged. What they may lack in mainstream beauty, they make up for in the spectrum of emotions their facial expressions reflect. And emotion is what Marta’s work is all about. You don’t need to be an art connoisseur to recognize or appreciate her work. You don’t even have to have any imagination, because each portrait will tell you its own story, be it a Japanese girl with an octopus stuck to her bare skin, or a crying woman with make up all over her fingers. Working with exclusively natural light both in the studio and outside, and usually not much more than her 50 mm lens, Marta Bevacqua lures us into her world full of piercing eyes, emotions and fantasy. She’s a photographer who goes beyond. Beyond beauty, beyond imagination and into depth, making her portraits timeless. - Jovana Todorović -







interview Simone Guidarelli

Italian stylist and image maker Simone Guidarelli is one of the most creative minds shaking things up in the fashion editorial arena. Instagram is his playground, where he forged a unique language out of experimental looks and opinionated posts. We met him to find out how he made it to the top and what’s the secret to always look the part. What led you to this job: is that what you’ve always wanted to do or did you get there through a series of evolutions? I came to this job out of curiosity and my desire to always learn something new. Mine is a bizarre path: I graduated in psychology and while studying I worked as an assistant to a Scottish designer who was consulting for John Galliano, Rifat Özbek, Valentino and other big names. I learned how to make mood-boards, to know the differences between all the fabrics and the knitting techniques. Whilst on a trip to Iceland, I met iD’s fashion editor and from there I started to work as an assistant. Putting together all my worlds and my knowledge, I managed to slowly climb the ladder with dedication and effort, and finally to work for Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar, Glamour, etc. What is an image for you, both inside and outside of your sector? The image is the representation of something at a precise moment. It is being, giving a clear meaning to what one is. This is why we stylists exist, to help build this image. It applies to all sectors: the clearer the message of what is to be communicated, the better the result. What are you looking for when creating an image? To create a look I study a lot, I look for consistency in the style, trying to understand the personality of the wearer, because that changes things. Then I like to break this perfection with an element that I call ‘wrong’, but that actually is not: an accessory that apparently jars in the look makes it more personal. A few decades ago we were already living in the image society: do you think that social networks have exaggerated this aspect and do you have any advice on how to make good use of it? I think social media have devastated this concept. They gave word to too many with very little taste: social networks are not the right place to do image research. The advice is to study and to look to the past to find a modern key to elegance. You play a lot with your own image, with the representation of your mood, treating your followers to daily visual gems. Where do you find so much inspiration and how did you get the idea? The inspiration lies in my personal history. I was lucky to have a very rich childhood: I spent hours in the attics looking through old records and reading old books, rummaging in wardrobes full of clothes. My ideas come from there, from those memories of a fantastic childhood. Instagram has simply allowed me to bring out my imagination and inspiration in one single shot. I love being ironic and producing positive messages only. What makes a winning image? Give us your dos and don’ts 1 A winning image always tells the truth. What you wear must be in line with what you say you are, otherwise you look like a mannequin. 2 Consistency of style in what you wear. 3 Always have the right accessories: shoes are essential and must always be well-kept and pristine. 4 Personality, but that’s something no stylist can create for you. - Rosario Morabito -







Rachelle Mendez

Minimal Hardscapes of Southern California, Rachelle Mendez’s exquisite recent body of work was, in part, a product of the unlikely and unfortunate. While photographing her Minimal Rural photography series, Mendez was struck by an untoward ACL injury that hindered her ability to move. It was under these limitations that made Mendez turn her attention to what was around her. Having moved to the Los Angeles and Orange County area to pursue a degree in Advertising and Graphic Design, Minimal Hardscapes provides a fascinating and intimate look into Mendez’s life and experiences in the Californian concrete jungle. As it is said, straight lines do not exist in nature. By calling her work “hardscapes”, Rachelle Mendez comments on the literal concretization of the Californian landscape. As opposed to the soft, feminine energy of nature, the new California cityscape is hard and harsh, paved with man-made materials that simultaneously flatten the ground and expand upwards to accommodate the sprawling nature of the spread of urban life. The graphic lines of urban Southern California – the core of Minimal Hardscapes’ minimalist aesthetic – are bold representations of modernity and expansion, laid flat in images that are both eerily haunting in their simplicity and poetically disorienting in their composition, making the viewer anticipate an intentionally-absent congestion of the space. There is a grainy, almost dusty quality to her work, perhaps reminiscent of the smog of urbanity and transportation. One can describe the coloring of her images as a dusty 1950s palette with warm undertones, evocative of the California sun and palms. The textures of the images elevate this mood to represent the wear and tear of everyday life but present the gentrification of an area in a very harsh, lived-in sort of way. Perhaps even more intriguing is the sort of opposition between the minimalism of the images and the excesses associated with Southern California life. Mendez’s minimalism is not the elimination of what is not necessary, but the exclusion of the context as lines run off the edges of the image, reminding the viewer that modernity and expansion may indeed be endless. - Mikael Fernstrom -





Olga de la Iglesia

Depending on which part of the world one is from, different colors may symbolize various meanings. Barcelonaborn art director and photographer Olga de la Iglesia’s passion for color stems from the fascination with how humans have evolved to recognize and give meaning to color, with each shade evoking varying moods depending on the viewer’s culture and experiences. During a trip to Senegal, de la Iglesia documented her cultural immersions with the utmost reverence for color and shapes. De la Iglesia’s gift for story-telling wraps powerful emotions into single shots, delivering endearing messages that go beyond what can be seen at face value, and transforming the mundane into a striking and captivating subject. For instance, through de la Iglesia’s lens, a disposable yellow plastic bag is transformed into something more than it actually is, shaped by its contents and the person who fills it. Meanwhile, the image of a gentleman in a formal blue shirt standing in front of a pastel pink wall becomes an intimate look into the contrasts between the hardships of life and the bright colors that the subject’s tired and melancholic eyes see each day. With color, de la Iglesia performs the seemingly elusive task of transporting the viewer into a sentimental and nostalgic space that remains invisible to most because of its everydayness. As a fashion photographer, Olga similarly transforms the everyday into beautiful and expressive stills, vividly capturing color, shape, and texture in her photography to express emotions that are otherwise difficult to explain with words. Perfectly striking the balance between the studio and the street to compose images unlike what is typically seen in fashion magazines, her works feel far from manufactured. Refreshingly, de la Iglesia stages a scene while allowing the subject to authentically be what it truly is at the same time. Her Woman collection is a charming series highlighting the image of the everyday woman, who can be a lady in high-heels, an edgy girl with her Picasso bomber jacket, or a mother in church with her flowers. Olga’s subjects might be posing for the camera, but their body language reveals moods, dispositions, and aspirations that make images that are real and raw, and truly mesmerizing. - Kate Dolby -





Jonathan Higbee

Images are but captured moments frozen in time. But Jonathan Highbee’s work takes it a step further and waits for the perfect time to capture extraordinary juxtapositions that rarely happens. His on-going project, Coincidences, represents the documentation of seemingly random New York City moments that are too perfect to be a coincidence. Like most photographers, Jonathan Highbee began taking photographs at an early age. He later studied Communications in California and landed a writing job as an editorial assistant for a magazine. During this period, Highbee found himself even more interested in the side photography gig as a travel correspondent than his the actual writing. He admits that the job got him into the art of taking images which later paved his path to a career in photography. For Highbee, photography is voyeurism. It is the art of waiting patiently at a corner, observing, seeking, and documenting what happens before his eyes. His role is not to interact or influence his surroundings; he is merely there to take photographs like a camera hidden in plain sight. Coincidences blurs the lines between what appears to be a staged image and a random occurrence. Highbee’s skill as a photographer is in becoming the observant voyeur that understands his surroundings and shoot images that we might otherwise disregard. Over the years, Highbee has trained himself to anticipate moments that might not happen again. The white head of hair of a gentleman looks like it is part of a smoke cloud in the streets. A Mickey Mouse balloon perfectly covers the head of a man in a subway, making it look like it was the cartoon character himself was riding the train. A man sits in a perfect position to angle himself to make it seem like the mural behind him was painted for him. These serendipitous moments might only happen once-in-a-lifetime but it is rather fortunate that a voyeur like Highbee is there, waiting patiently to take photographs of such moments. His works have been exhibited around the world, most notably in his solo show in Tagil, Russia. Although mostly focusing on fine art works, Highbee also boasts commercial client lists including AirBnB, Zeiss, the Getty Foundation, among others. - Carolina Bruni -







Nirav Patel At the age of two, Nirav moved from India to the United States, and as he says, there were quite a few turbulent and restless moments throughout his childhood. It was thanks to these moments that he learned to appreciate peacefulness and quiet. Just a glance at his works will give you a sense of serenity and calm. No one really knows how much truth there is in the Latin proverb Nomen est omen, but in Nirav’s case, it is 100% accurate. Translated from Hindi into English, Nirav’s name means, you guessed it, quiet. In spite of this, Nirav tells amazing stories, but not through words. It is his images that make him a storyteller; it is his images that make you a reader. How deep into his stories you will go depends solely on you, because the door to depths of what he wants to say is wide open. There’s a lot of darkness in Nirav’s works, but not darkness in the negative, scary sense. He plays with darkness and lights, combining the two to perfectly capture the moment. He uses one to isolate and emphasize the other. His works are contrastive, as he uses simplicity to take us to complexity, darkness to show us light, and stillness to depict movement. His portraits are about detail, which he perfectly emphasizes by playing with shadows, by making perfect combinations, like a master of Yin and Yang. In his works, there are no opposites, although it might seem like there are at the first glance. Nirav’s darkness and light are complementary, as are his noise and quiet. One can’t exist without the other. And his models, seemingly ordinary and doing very ordinary things, just looking through a window, lying in bed, or sitting in a backseat of a car reflect dark sensual melancholy leaving the audience hungry for more. - Jovana Todorović -


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