Surreal, bold and edgy are the words I can use to describe the works of Dimitris Theocharis. I have become a fan of his works sometime ago and this week I have decided to feature this amazing fashion photographer on Swide.
Since he has so many amazing works, I recommend you to click the link at the bottom of this entry (after you read this entry) to visit his personal website.
M: I think it is kind of a surreal moment for me right now as I actually have been following your editorials for quite some time now. I am excited to be able to ask you some questions and thanks so much for letting me to show some of your works on Swide this week. So what made you want to become a fashion photographer?
D: It was more of an outcome rather than a conscious decision. There was never a moment in time when I said to myself, “now, I’m going to be a fashion photographer”. It was a slow and organic process, where my work transcended from painting to sculpture to photography and from abstract to representational, finally evolving into “fashion” photography.
That being said, I was always fascinated by the world of fashion. The imagery in the magazines I collected, the works of the great masters and designers eventually overwhelmed, seduced and consumed me.
M: You are actually a true artist because you also do paintings and sculptures. Now I would like to see some of your paintings in the future. Who are the fashion photographers you look up to? What have you learnt from him/her/them?
D: The list is endless as I respect and look up to many of the great and contemporary masters. Each one of them has enlightened me in different ways. Avedon’s haunting images allowed me to think of fashion and portrait photography as fine art. Then there are Steven Meisel’s work and his interpretation of femininity, Mario Testino’s approach to sexuality, Tim Walker and Annie Leibovitz’s theatricality, Steven Klein’s aggressive and dark imagery, Bourdin and his erotically charged surrealism. These are just some of the photographers who have helped to expand my vision.
M: All the photographer masters you have just mentioned have also inspired me, especially Anne Leibovitz. Well, if you could only use 3 words to describe your photography style, what would they be? Why?
D: It’s difficult to distill my work into 3 words as I often adopt a specific stylistic approach to reinforce the concept of the shoot. However, I would like to think that the words sensual, timeless and surreal are appropriate.
M: Surreal is on my list when I need to use words to describe your works. I have seen a lot of your editorials in different magazines and they are all amazing. However, if you could only choose one set to represent you as a fashion photographer, which one would you choose? Why?
D: Each project is a stepping stone, and each photograph stands on its own merits. The images capture not only the subject in front of my lens but also reflect my way of thinking at that given moment in time. I truly couldn’t choose, in the same way that a father would find it hard to select his favorite child.
M: I really like how you compare your photos as your children as I think this is so true for every artist. So here is my final question, if you could have a chance to shoot the new campaign for Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2012 collection (both men and women), what kind of imagery would you want to achieve (setting, models selection, mood etc)?
D: That would be a delightful challenge! I would follow up on the long tradition of cinematographic photography as implemented in previous campaigns and combine it with the main focus of the S/S 12 Womenswear collection. The collection is a romantic but modern re-adaptation of a carefree and optimistic 1950s lifestyle and the Italian beauty as embodied by the iconic Sophia Loren...
The twist in this campaign will be the images interlink with one other and the way the various parallel stories unfold, simultaneously creating a sense of storytelling and autonomous iconic imagery. For example, the main image where all the female protagonists come together “by coincidence” is set in an archetypical Italian fishing village with cobbled streets. The local girls (Lara Stone and Sasha Pivovarova) are selling their goods whilst flirting with a young stranger (Tyson Ballou) by the fruit and vegetable stands. The iconic Sophia Loren morphed to her prime walking down the street dressed in one of the black cocktail dress (perhaps returning from Les Liaisons Dangereuses). 4 girls and 2 boys are sitting at an outdoor café while one is playing with a guitar, the other is raising a glass. Basically all are engaging in some light fun in an early afternoon...
The remaining images would develop each scenario, showcasing what happened before and after the above moment by borrowing characters from the men’s campaign. For instance, David Gandy is the secret lover of Sophia. We see an intimate moment of the two in a modest apartment where they slept together the night before. He is also fronting the men’s campaign, which is set in a petrol station in the evening. He is leaning against his car while the car is being repaired by a guy (Tyson Ballou) whilst another is filling up the petrol tank. In the car you can see a glimpse of Sophia Loren. Also, there will be 2 other guys (the same ones from the cafe ) in Vespa driving by them. These are just some of the ideas I have in mind for this campaign.
Credits - Dimitris Theocharis