As if STEPHANIE PISTEL knew well before this year's GoSeeAWARDS15 that she would take home Gold in the category SKIN / BEAUTY; the title of her winning work is 'Aureum', the Latin name for the precious metal. She exclaims: "Many thanks for the award! I am very happy about it!" The motifs were created in New York and reflect both the blinding power of pure gold as well as its negative side: the golden cage. The spread titled 'Persuasion' was photographed by Stephanie in Amsterdam, and the motifs are themed upon the shy and almost transparent. She was supported in the project by illustrator Naja Conrad-Hansen.
About - Stephanie Pistel is a celebrity, beauty and fashion photographer based in Amsterdam and New York. Unified by her signature photographic style that has a surreal, yet painterly quality, each of the pieces tells his own story, capturing Stephanie’s cinematic vision. Beauty to her lies in the emotion of a very moment. In the detail. The perfect imperfection. Stephanie loves to freeze and magnify these moments. In both the editorial and commercial word, where the artistic approach can differ, but the emotion and the eye for detail stays the same. Looking differently at beauty photography inspires her every day again. And she is always looking forward to the next opportunity to free the inspiration during a new shoot.
In her current expositions, she pays homage to the opportunities that Pistel’s professional live offered her. Capturing intimate and unique moments with a wide range of creative individuals from the world of music, theater, politics, film, fashion and dance, whose work she admires and whose talent has always inspired her. From Robbie Williams, Alicia Keys and Will. I Am, to Mickey Rourke, Duran Duran and even Nelson Mandela, Pistel’s celebrity photographs show a side to her subjects rarely seen. Whether a candid moment backstage before the show, or a stunning portrait that she has art-directed, each image comes to life with a clarity, depth and beauty that make her work both captivating and distinctive.
Nudity can get you weak in the knees or make you feel vulnerable – but not in the black & white nude portraits by Paris-based photographer GYSLAIN YARHI. His strength and expressiveness even convinced the jury who chose him as the proud winner of the Silver Award in the category SKIN/BEAUTY.
About - Gyslain Yarhi is a fashion and beauty photographer based in Paris. Clients include Harvey Nichols, Eres, Bodyshop, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, Elle, Glamour, Harpers Bazaar, The Independant, Tank, Sunday Times, Nivea, Vogue, Urban Decay, Steffen Schraut and Surface.
His grand photo series on the topic of 'Erotic' won Peter Franck aka ATELIERGLÜCKLICHUNDSCHÖN Bronze in the category SKIN/BEAUTY. The Stuttgart-based photographer´s works range between the areas of photography and painting, puts the effects of color upfront, and uses subtle pornography to convey his aesthetic imagery.
About - Peter Franck was born in Überlingen/Germany. 1987 he started studying painting/graphics at the University of Fine Arts in Nuremberg. 1993 he finished his studies at the University of Fine Arts Stuttgart (Masterclass R. Schoofs). After this he had his first contacts with photography over his brother who is also a photographer. With his photography influenced by fine art paintings he took part in many exhibitions such as the Photo Festival Naarden, the photosummer Stuttgart and the Art Fair Cologne. Parallel to his photographic work he also continues to work on his paintings which are totally contrasting to the photographic works. Peter Franck lives and works in Stuttgart/Germany.
With lots skin and hot accessories, MONICA MENEZ won over hearts and support in the GoSeeAWARDS15 category Public Voting. "I am still very surprised and happy about the award! I would have loved to have been able to attend the awards ceremonies!!!" Monica tells GoSee. Her winning spread is personal work together with the ballet dancer Anouk, who “flexibly wraps her body around the masculine fitness model.” Monica Menez tells GoSee ambiguously.
About - Monica Menez Students who are excitingly licking the tables in the lecture hall, a richly decorated Christmas tree as an object of sexual desire, a female secretary with a catlike way of life – Monica Menez stages fashion in a way which goes far beyond the mere presentation of pretty models in splendid clothing.
She may be working on a fashion film or a photo series: the approach of this photographer and maker of fashion films, born in Stuttgart (Germany), is unconventional and unique in the world of fashion. She bases all scenes on short stories, taking things literally, she thrashes out metaphors and thus subtly uncovers absurd ambiguities. The thus created images are aesthetic, humorous, and not seldom erotic. Menez takes scenes from everyday life and modifies them: she places the well-known into strange contexts, or she peppers common scenes with surreal elements. Her images are multilayered, obsessed with detail, but never cluttered – each element of the respective image has its own task, the observer becomes a discoverer.
However, with all those imaginative sceneries one thing never gets out of focus: fashion, which always plays the leading role with Monica Menez´s work. Quite on the contrary: It is precisely the combination of pointedly told stories and fashion by way of which Monica Menez makes fashion the real Star.
In her photo series “Torture”, for example, the models interact with cacti, the photos are clearly inspired by bondage and fetish. However, the models are not at all at the cacti mercy, rather Monica Menez establishes a sexually uploaded atmosphere between the models, fashion, and these prickled plants. No less sexually uploaded is the photo series “The Woman That Fell in Love”: there, a woman takes Christmas as the “celebration of love” literally, and without further ado changes the richly decorated Christmas tree into an object of sexual desire.
Also in her fashion films Monica Menez combines everyday matters with elements of the grotesque. The interplay of fashion, music and motifs becomes total artwork, whose scenes are humorous, surprising, exciting, sexy and absurd all at the same time – including arcs of suspense, for the grotesque situations are resolved only at the end of the film. In “Odditory”, for example, the viewer is told why slapping raw cutlets against each other is an essential part of a lecture, in “Precious” pizza-making becomes a surreal-erotic act, and in “Hors d´Oeuvre” a woman is portrayed for three episodes from her rather unique everyday life.
We understand from Monica Menez´s varied work that, apart from her own, individual visual language, she is inspired by a variety of most different cultural aspects – such as surreal-humorous films like John Waters´s “Polyester”, style-defining fashion photographies from the 1950s and 1960s, and current art. All this – and much more – is included into Menez´s work and is developed further.
Monica Menez has developed her keen instinct for the perfect scenery over many years. At the age of 24 she started a term of practical work as a fashion photographer, to then work as a press photographer for several years. During these years she came increasingly in touch with the world of fashion. After first fashion series for different magazines and growing demand from fashion labels, finally in 2002 there was the decision to work mainly as a fashion photographer. She discovered her love of the fashion film rather coincidentally, as she tells: “I was working on my photo project `Precious´. After one and a half year of intensive work and countless photo shootings I realized that by way of photographic means I´m not able to deliver the story I wanted to tell. However, as I wanted to conclude the project, I started filming the scenes. This way it was easier to tell the stories. Then I liked the result so much, that since then I have been going on with this way of working.”
Monica Menez is a member of ART DIRECTORS CLUB GERMANY
GoSeeAWARDS15 Merits in the category SKIN/BEAUTY go to the Stuttgart-based photographer and director Monica Menez (//monicamenez) as well as fashion & beauty photographer Arton Sefa (//artonsefa) from Munich.