What inspired you for the creation of your new project? How would you describe it?
The Holy Beauty project is a fusion of my two biggest passions; religious art and fashion. This is the most ambitious project that i have undertaken so far as i wanted to show that i am not only a painter and photographer by incorporating video and performance into my work.
I was inspired by images from colonial Latin American art (which is descended from Spanish Baroque period and the Protestant Reformation) as well as fashion magazines and their campaigns. The mix may seem strange but i see many elements in common between the icons of today and yesterday; both are ideal representations of the human and provoke devotion in us “the common people”. In the end, this is a project about the power of seduction through images.
How do you feel when you see past works?
To be honest, there are many previous works that i do not like, but i accept them as part of my artistic, intellectual and emotional development. I am unable to throw out them all because they have a special significance for me or because they received a good response from the public. There are however old works that i continue to like.
My new project is less about exorcising demons and more about incorporating what I love in my work. I have always tried to do both things, but before the balance was more inclined to the other side.
How would you describe the female image in this project?
With respect to what i have done before the female image is much more complete in this work. Until now my women were ingenuine, fearful and infantile. The woman of the Holy Beauty Project however is an adult woman and conscious of her body, maybe also a little more cynical.
You come from a very Christian family, what role does religion have in your life at this moment? How is it expressed in your new work?
Belief or practice of religion has no function in my life. Before it was a fundamental question which provoked much anguish in me, now however i don’t think about it.
Religious art however is very prominent in my work. In my family home i was educated in a traditional Evangelical Protestant manner, which, albeit Protestant placed a big focus on iconclasm. Religious art has always fascinated me, not for reasons of believe or faith but rather for its human and aesthetic aspects.
We know you work a lot with self portraits, what do you think about the experience of working with models?
It has been good, i am beginning to like working with other people more and more. I can be quite neurotic about my work so it can be good to have less control. To work with others means that there will be more events that i am unable to control. I have learnt to appreciate chance in the process of creation.
I prefer to work with people i know, but that is not an obligation. It is more important for me that the model is 100% ready, comfortable in front of the camera or that at least they are able to relax if they have no experience of modelling. Apart from that, I don’t want them to demand anything from me. There are many people who only want to appear pretty and for me that serves no purpose.
If you could choose, which artist would you like to work with on your next projects?
It’s difficult to choose, the list is enormous! I don’t only want to work with visual artist but also fashion designers, performers, video artists, musicians. There are so many inspiring people! The first ones which come to my mind are a Colombian visual artist who goes by the pseudonym 9000, the designer and illustrator Sorcha O’Ragahallaigh, the photographer Lina Scheynius, the performer Danila Polyakov and many, many more.
To dream costs nothing!