We speak to the young photographer whose floral melding of fashion and art is reserved solely for retro analogue.
We all know about the Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective at Tate this summer and it’s afforded a lot of attention to women and flowers in art and photography, as well as the suggestive symbolism surrounding works that depict the two. Bolzano-based photographer Jasmine Deporta is approaching the topic from an altogether different angle by capturing women in broken fragments, hiding behind blooming bouquets of flowers that the girls choose themselves. From the aforementioned O’Keeffe and infamous Warhol, to the delicate Monet and ornate Hokusai – horticulture is a heroine in its own right, with Deporta’s unassuming lens cast upon it.
The only way is analogue for the Italian, with the quintessentially grainy texture of film reserved for her multiple series. Her eye for colour is something that stands out throughout her work, more so than ever in the imagery-inducing series entitled Sofa Safari. It depicts girls nonchalantly lounging on and almost being swallowed up by velvety vintage furniture. Their clothing matches their selected sofa in a way that’s more exact than a pantone colour card – the devil is most certainly in Deporta’s details.
Wonderland caught up with the photographer to talk Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, her upcoming book project and how she’d love to shoot Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc behind a bunch of veil herb.
When did photography start becoming an interest for you?
I got my first analogue compact camera at the age of nine and it was really an instrument to document my everyday life back in those days – I think you can compare it to kids today getting a smartphone. Getting older, I realised that it was the best way to express myself and to capture all those unrepeatable moments so I just kept on taking pictures of my vision of reality up until today.
Is there a particular photographer whose work encouraged you to venture into the field yourself?
Actually there was no specific one – of course getting into photography is going along with an interest in photographers and their work, but since the beginning it was a more like a personal need, something that came really intuitively.
You have a series of women hiding behind flowers, is there a metaphor lurking there?
The series “fleurs” was about showing diversity, inner beauty and the femininity of women – each of the girls I shot selected their own flowers. I experimented with close ups in order to blur their faces with the blossoms, the faces partially disappear and at the end you just see looks, fragments and impressions behind the bouquets.
If you could photograph anyone – dead or alive – hiding behind any kind of flower in the world, who and what would it be?
Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc behind a bunch of veil herb.
Georgia O’Keeffe is of course the most famous artist who linked subjects of femininity and flowers; what do you think of her work and the erotic interpretations of it?
I think Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings are a strong body of work in female art. I wouldn’t say that they are erotic, but rather sensual – flowers are such a strong symbol for womanhood and the form of them sometimes might go along with a certain kind of connotation. I don’t think that it was her intention to provoke and that’s pretty much what I do too in my photographs – express a deep affection for the sensual beauty of women.
Your compositions are so well executed colour-wise, how much consideration do you put into this colour coordination?
Composition and colours are definitely points that are very important to me – I’m a real aesthete when it comes to this. I think over all the years I’ve been taking pictures, I got a feeling for it and it just comes really naturally to me now. After some time you know what you like and what you don’t like. I mainly just always follow my intuition and my visual perception. I always had a “good eye”; at first it might have been a talent but I was training it too over the years and got more and more confident and that’s affected both me and my photographs.
You aren’t strictly a fashion photographer but clothes have their way of creeping into your work, can you tell us about the intertwining of fashion and photography for you?
Most of my work is fashion “oriented” because fashion was something that came along and always inspired me since I was a teenager. I like to play with fashion and styling to add another layer to my work but I never actually say that I’m a classic fashion photographer. Although, it’s very much leaned in this direction a lot lately.
Quite a few of your images remind me of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci – possibly the seventies vibe and choice of models – have you been influenced by him at all?
Alessandro Michele did an awesome job, I think you could see the coming back of the whole 70s imagery and style in fashion over the past few years but he was the best in transforming it into a great visionary work. He didn’t particularly influence me as I was actually never very much into the 70s, sometimes it’s a bit too vintage. I think it’s mostly the aesthetic and the colours from the analogic film that probably gives a lot of people this 70s vibes when seeing my pictures.
Can you tell us about the book you hope to release this year?
The book is a project I’ve been working on for over a year with Berlin based Studio 24/24, it will be a collection of some of my unreleased works from the last 2-3 years. I was a bit tired of always just loading my pictures up on the Internet and wanted to see them collected and printed to give them a different value. I feel like it’s an important self-reflection – personal and on my photographs – to work intensively on my body of work by collecting, selecting and editing my own book.