If Helmut Newton as the pioneer who introduced eroticism to photography, Marc Lagrange is one of his worthy heirs to the art. Heaving with lust and glamour, his sexually-charged large format photography might just overwhelm the fainthearted. Wonderland takes a deep NSFW breath and dives in.
Hello Marc. Would you share some of your career highlights with us?
My first big solo expo was in the Museum of Photography in Antwerp in 2006. My Overview Expo “XXML 20 Years Marc Lagrange” showed in Belgium for the first time in 2011, then in Austria and now at LMNT in Miami before it starts traveling aroud the world.
Your preferred medium is Polaroid photography. What attracts you to the use of Polaroid?
Because Polaroid is so nice to skin tones, it is glam in one shot. It’s an ultimate image and it is impossible to take two identical Polaroid. It’s exclusive.
What essence are you are trying to capture in your photographs?
The ultimate sense of a woman. Sensuality. I want to get my models to reveal their inner selves in a cinematic setting of mystery and charm.
The images you create are sensual, seductive, erotic and captivating. How do you achieve these images bringing out beauty and staying away from an overly sexual focus?
By being a good director and by working with a very good team of stylists and make-up artists. Behind my lens I create art. My work never gets sexual as I think the subtitle in nude photography is to keep it sensual, provoke the imagination.
Do you envision an image first or do you see a woman and then create a vision around her?
I prefer to see the woman first because it is important that she feels how we work. The second shoot is always better because the ice is broken and we can go for stronger creations.
What aspects are important to you when choosing a location or designing a set?
The feeling, the right elements and the light I bring into it. It could be natural or cinema lighting.
Which locations would you still love to shoot at and why?
Tahiti, because of the natural beauty and soon, St Petersburg, for the decadent stories.
You are based in Antwerp. What’s happening in the art scene there?
Antwerp has a very reputable Fashion Academy. People from around the world are studying here. Just remember some Antwerp fashion designers like Dries Van Noten, Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Martin Margiela.
You are launching a new book with your work in 2013. Could you tell us more please?
The title of the book will be “Diamonds & Pearls – A Tribute to Beauty.” The book will be launched in 80 countries and will be my first internationally published book. The book will be published by Te Neues and in 2013 we will travel to several countries for book signings and expositions.
Do you have any other news you would like to share with us?
We will be showing some of my new work during Art Basel Miami Beach next week. We will be at Art Miami Booth C-43 as well as at LMNT Gallery.
Words: Heike Dempster