Fascinated by Ari Marcopoulos’ authentic and neorealist style, Alessandro Michele tapped the Dutch-born photographer and filmmaker to bring his point-of-view to Gucci. Ari, who trained his lens with Andy Warhol and Irving Penn, has a gritty, snapshot style approach to portraiture.
His work is the subject of books and exhibits, he has shot Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Beastie Boys and created the cover art for Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta.” For “Epiphany,” Ari worked in a Pompeian style interior, replete with decorated walls, antique furniture and live owls, love birds and parrots, capturing Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection on film. Published in collaboration by IDEA Books in London, the book reveals Ari’s black-and-white imagery on soft matte paper and colored shots on glossy stock. Bound in a pink cover featuring a pocket with one of 13 original photos from the shoot, the limited edition book will be produced in 1000 copies. Below, an interview with the photographer.
What vision did you have in mind for “Epiphany"?
There is only one vision. I approach everything in the same way. It's an effort to show things the way I see them.
The set featured Pompeian wall decorations, and a volary of birds, how did you distinguish the clothes?
The clothes speak for themselves. The approach was to not get in the way of that by trickery or over emphasis.
What did you enjoy about working with Alessandro Michele?
Working with Alessandro is a pleasure because he asks for an interpretation that is not changed by him. He is curious so he wanted to see what I would do with his creations. I think he carefully chooses who to work with so that he can allow for freedom to do their job. Plus he is a nice guy.
You have notably photographed individuals who have made cultural scenes erupt, how does your aesthetic translate to fashion photography?
It's all the same it passes in front of your camera. Of course in this case the shoot had a very specific goal which was to show the collection. But in the end particularly in this book we were able to go beyond the required lookbook feel. This is more a narrative, a short story so to speak. Alessandro and I wrote it together in images.