One day I decided to buy 5 kilos of modeling clay (it’s super cheap in any arts and crafts store) I felt inspired by the raw material and though that would be cool for pictures. But a few weeks passed by and I couldn’t find anything. Until I spent an afternoon with my friend Camille from Délicate Distorsion, she saw the clay waiting patiently in my studio and asked what my project was. I told her I wanted to do something photography related but was kinda stuck. She told me about this french artist doing weird happenings and events where he just covers himself in clay and it BLEW MY MIND.
You can have a look at his work, his name is Olivier de Sagazan, he has plenty of youtube videos. I found them haunting, and highly inspiring. I love how he becomes the creator and the art piece at the same time, covering himself in clay.
Clay is fascinating because this is the most simple basic boring component when it is raw. But it can give you so much freedom to create whatever you want.
So i contacted my friend Kevin to do a photoshoot : he is a dancer and a wonderful human being. We have a strong artistic connection and he trusts my vision.
When he arrives at my place, I am telling him right away « I might have a weird idea, are you up to it? » I am not giving him any more informations, just that I have clay, and I would like him to cover himself with it. Right away he says « this inspires me so much! ». I am letting him bring his own vision into the creative process. He trusts me to bring strange concepts on the table, and I trust him to bring them to life through his body. He has incredible skills as a dancer, and he uses his body to express his art. The first time I photographed him, he danced in my studio and I was literally crying behind my camera because this was such a damn beautiful moment!!! (I know I am such a wuss)
So I get the setup ready, really simple, one black background, one light, my favorite! It is also a setup that I know will allow him to move freely, I just put a piece of gaffer tape on the floor to give him an indication of where he should stand, and we are good! I also put music to set the mood. For dark moody photoshoots I love Nine Inch nails (some weird dark electronics instrumental) this music resonates a lot with my soul and inspires me to create .
This awkward moment you have an almost naked guy cutting clay in your living room
I waited a few weeks before starting the editing process, and then finally came up with the ideas you are seing. I used only the brush in Photoshop and literally painted everything on the picture. The stars/particles are a handmade brush I am using all the time. And then a bit of color correction on Alienskin and we are all done!