conceptual & tableau: fine art photography
- living and born 1986 in Saarbrücken, Germany
- autodidactic freelance photographer; zoo pedagogue / student of Ancient Greek / teacher
- genres: fine art: conceptual, tableau, story telling, staged portrait, fashion – often combined; individual animal character studies
- subjects: psychological and social issues like role expectation, prejudice and identity; destruction of nature by mankind; dream and illusion; individuality of animals
- sources of inspiration: philosophy, cinema (especially Hitchcock), literature, myth and fairy tale, classical art, nature, fashion photography, my grandfather (see photo right), …
- awards: 2016 ipa int. photography awards (2nd, “deeper perspective” category); 2015 Museum Haus Ludwig Saarlouis, competition “portraits in action” during their Eve Arnold exhibition (1st); for more information on credits & awards please see “Awards & Publications“.
WHY “KYPRISATHINA PICTURES“? I see myself not only as a photographer or “light painter”, but also as a film director, who is also her own author, camera woman, location scout, stylist, make-up artist, post producer – and sometimes even fashion designer and / or model. This gives me full control over the whole narrative. Therefore I usually work on two-people-sets: model and me. A very detailed concept (story line) and careful preparation build the ground for all my series and often start weeks or even months ahead. The average working time from first idea to end of post-production takes about 40-60 hours by average, but often more.
THERE IS TROUBLE UNDER A BEAUTIFUL SURFACE: Melting the beauty of staged fashion and portrait photography with the social awareness of photo journalism, I want you to discover an often troubling message hidden under this beautiful surface: I want to invite to get behind the surface and to find a question for you, not necessarily an answer. Therefore I follow an AESTHETIC APPROACH in my work, not only for the reason of ambiguity, but by conviction. I strongly refuse the current trend of ugliness in arts: I disagree that art has to include disharmonic colors, ill-looking make-up, heavy boots combined with fragile elf dresses, internal flash or beginner-like looking techniques in order to be taken for serious. I do not accept the widely spread prejudice (!) that a beautiful surface cannot have a deeper meaning. On the contrary: I find it superficial to turn away, just because something looks aesthetical. In my opinion, it still requires more skills and efforts to wrap a message like criticism of prejudice into an aesthetic package than plainly into an ugly one, as ugly as the prejudice: doing so is kind of expected by most people nowadays – and actually much easier.
“Unlike my usually staged people photography, my animal photos always are individual portraits; when I take a photo I don’t want to say: “This is a tiger and tigers usually look like that, do this or that, …”. Instead, I want to show you the tiger called X or Y, how this individual tiger looks, behaves, feels – and make you understand that it is an individual with its own character, which makes it different from any other tiger. It’s not coincidence that the animals on my photos often have their names shown in the description. To me it doesn’t matter if my animal model lives in nature or in a zoo. Actually, if you want to take a true and individual animal portrait, it is quite difficult to do that outside in nature, if you have only a few minutes with the wild animal, before it disappears forever, and you’ll never know if it comes back the other day – and without enough time for study or a really good guide you won’t even be able to say if it is the same individual from yesterday…! I fully stand behind the concept of zoos, not only because I think that in WAZA and EAZA member zoos the animals are kept very well, but also because I strongly believe that for many it is the only way to survive extinction – to name only two reasons out of many. Anyway, I think people who refuse zoos firstly need to be vegan and keep no pets in order to stand in for their view.”