We took a keen interest in the work of 28-year old photographer Roxy Herve when we spied it on one of our Instagram explorations. In her latest project LOVERS, the london based Roxy Herve focuses on images of love and intimacy in her idiosyncratic fashion orientated images. The founding idea behind the project: love is the same no matter your preference.
Family and creativity, tell us about the connection?
I grew up in family that always had in interest in art. From a very young age I was dragged to museums, watched the movies that my parents wanted to watch, listened to the same music. They encouraged me to discover the art world more than most kids of the same age.
At the age of 7, my grandfather bought me my first camera. It was gold and compact. I took it everywhere with me and I still carry it in bag every day. I was a terrible student most of my life but always managed to get good grades in anything creative. My mother understood quite quickly that I was never going to be a brilliant mathematician but saw that the only subject that mattered to me was Art. She signed me up for drawing and painting classes. I think I decided from a very young age that I would somehow try to be involved in the art industry when I would grow up.
In our research we saw an interview where you said you were “rejected” as a youngster.
Did I say that? Possibly. When I moved back to Paris when I was 14, I found it hard to interact with people. To my eyes, everyone seemed very similar. Everyone listened to the same music, dressed the same, had the same way of expressing themselves and rejected anything or anyone that didn't think the same way as them. So instead of hanging out with friends during my last years as a teenager, I spent my time painting and drawing in my room.
What does photography mean to you?
Depending on the photography you are doing this answer can vary. For the photography I do there's a big creative process behind it. I always paint an image in my head and then go through the process of finding the right person to photograph, getting props, getting a place to shoot and basically getting a whole team together. Once all of that is set up, the shoot can finally begin and from that point on it's about creating an image that captures my ideas.
In your images we have seen on Instagram you seem to focus on the female form.
I mainly use female models because I find their shapes of their bodies more interesting to use. They have more variety than the make form. I use the female body as a shape and form rather then a gendered object.
In many images the women (from a male perspective) might not necessarily fit the images of female beauty but they are beautiful-is this intentional and why?
I guess it is intentional in a way. I don't pick out girls because I think that they are not the male's perspective of beauty, but because it's my own view on beauty. The same goes with the way they pose, and we interact with each other during a shoot.
The images also explore female intimacy but ultimately human intimacy without it necessarily being sexual-can you talk to us more about that?
A bit over a year ago I started a project called LOVERS. For this project I went into a stranger's home to photograph them and their partner cuddling in bed. This project is about intimacy. Those hidden moments that all loving relationships share. Whether you're in a heterosexual, homosexual, polyamorous relationship basically whatever you are into. It's those little moments during intimacy. It is more about showing the hidden common points of intimacy rather than the sexual act.
We have seen you are looking for models for a new project on women, identity and empowerment. Tell us about the reasons behind this new project and indeed the types of ‘models' you want?
I'm trying to work on a project that is a bit more creative and more fashion than my LOVERS project. The idea is to gather a group of women from the city I will be shooting in and work with a stylist and a make-up artist from that town. Using women who do not fit the stereotypes of ‘beauty' while at the same time playing with the identity of the country using fashion and the characters of the models. I started this project in tokyo in February and now I am looking to bring out the strong women in different cities in Europe. Or wherever I'm going to travel next!