Sequins! Crochet on crochet! XXL wigs! Long has Ashish Gupta been adored for the maximalist more-is-more creations of his namesake brand, which conjure an instant heady opulence.
And now the London-based designer has turned his eye inwards, with a deeply personal collection of photographs in brand new publication Gaze. Intimate and relaxed, the collection of images display a marked departure from his usual exaggerated, bombastic aesthetic, but still maintain that signature playfulness.
In collaboration with Studio Voltaire, the book immortalises 365 (one for every day of the year, fyi) intimate and provocative photographs – a powerful documentation of queer desire, but also “a collection of images that are full of joy, humour, longing , desire, (and more than a little feeling of tenderness) about sex and sexiness. It’s also about about exploring images of sexuality and masculinity, but not just the type of images that we tend to see in the mainstream of gay culture.”
Shot across Antwerp, Delhi, London, New York and Paris, the designer saw the process of taking photos as “a kind of diary.” He explains, “I always wanted to take photographs but only started about five years ago when I got a camera for my birthday. It became a secret hobby, and I never showed them to anyone.”
The photo diary/publication is available exclusively at House of Voltaire, Mayfair, and houseofvoltaire.org from Friday 13 December 2019, priced £75.