Damien Vignaux shoots an exclusive story for Kids Of Dada
by Maria Raposo
French photographer, Damien Vignaux is an aesthete. His work is not based on what’s real but on what’s beautiful. His portfolio is bursting with professional female models in varying states of nudity. Always drenched in hazy, dream-like tones, his work gives the impression of constant summer. Yet Damien’s talents stretch beyond the boundaries of photography and he is also a talented designer and musician. We had a chat with him about why he prefers to work with women and how sex is linked to nudity.
KOD: With many talents, do you find the same ideas float between your design, music and photography?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: Obviously yes. I do so many things because they are all connected for me. It's like having a toolbox and you can just choose the best tool to tell a specific story at a specific time.
KOD: What was the last album you downloaded?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: I listen mostly to podcasts and mixes, I just need to have music running all the time and I like very long progressive mixes. I'm very often on White Light Mixes.
It's rare that I buy albums though, I think it doesn’t match the way I experience music most of the time.
KOD: Do you think soft tones make your nude photographs seem less sexual?
Damien elroy Vignaux: My work is not about sex but I understand when people see the outcome as something sexual.
People make stories about the images they see and nude bodies are probably the biggest projection slate for people’s fantasies. That's a cultural thing because bodies have always been hidden and because we live in a consumptive society that builds desire rather than focusing on experiences.
It has nothing to do with the model or the aesthetic in the frame. My composition, frames, colors, styling and choice of models are my vocabulary to tell stories.
KOD: What’s the difference between shooting women and working with men?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: First, I want to say that I work with models, not random people, so we are both there to produce an image or a story. It's not like I am documenting something "real".
Most of the time, I find working with men very limited compared to women. Also because of the codes we live by, working with women is more universal – they can be interpreted in many different ways. There is not as much variety with men.
KOD: Do you ever look to the internet for inspiration?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: All the time.
KOD: What makes a great model?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: It's a very difficult mix between versatility and personality. You have to be able to recreate yourself in ways which fall in line with a photographer's ideas, but at the same time bring in a unique personality that will push the story a step further than the photographer ever could have planned.
KOD: What’s the difference between a muse and an icon?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: A muse inspires. An icon is an image to worship.
KOD: What’s the future for photography? Will GIFs take over?
Damien Elroy Vignaux: GIFs and Photographs are different medias. It's like asking if film would kill photography. They tell different tales. The future of photography is more photography.