Marta Bevacqua is a French photographer whose oeuvre includes an impressive and highly artistic group of dramatic haute couture editorials, inflected with a sense of highly colored narrative. Still others mirror unnamed myths, fairy tales, literature and folktales.
Bevacqua’s au courant mythological layout styles make great work of Pre-Raphaelite ardor and metaphor.
Saturated loveliness, a richness that leaves one with a sense of overindulgence, a site of pure pleasure, a secret adoration…..Marta’s work has an enduring beauty puzzling, alluring and sensual, set against a theatrical tableau.
Other pared down black and white photos express a quiet yet powerful sense of sexuality. I found her work so entrancing it took me a long time to sort out which pieces to include, having spent some time admiring her work, it seemed more difficult to decide than with other creatives. Perhaps it is the saturated sex appeal and endless sense of mystery. Marta loves to take photos of freckled faces, the startlingly beauty of the models laid bare…
Nevertheless, there were a few I could not resist. After all, who doesn’t love a regal looking woman in a northern landscape, or an editorial of natural beauty?
And so, I was so very delighted when Marta agreed to answer a few questions and give some insight into her creative process.
Rosa: The Eric photos caught my attention early on, can you tell me more about this series? These images are really quite different from your mythological and high colors works, but have a similar sexual magnetism. Tell me more about the photos of Eric Sakai, they have a 1980’s editorial feel, as well as distinctive film noir tone.
Marta: You are quite right. He contacted me, asking me if we could do some pictures together. I loved his look, so natural and distinctive. I thought it would be perfect for some pictures in a simple beautiful apartment with natural light. I wanted him to be spontaneous, to be true. So, we worked on doing actions, like smoking etc. The clothing gives this 80s effect, which is exactly what I wanted, so perfect for his aspect.
Rosa: I am very interested in the theatrical photos that remind me of reworked history paintings, awash in allegory, modernist colors, contemporary style, and various references to literature and myth. What was the inspiration or project for the Wolf Land picture?
Marta: The location, first of all. I wanted to go there for a long time in order to take pictures, and when I was finally able to I simply thought about themes and things that I loved, and during this time I was very immersed in concepts of fantasy, animals, and pictures of wildness.
Rosa: It has a sense of immediacy and power that shows it comes from that place. May I ask who are some of your favorite editorial photographers? Fine Art photographers both historic and contemporary?
Marta: I admire a number of photographers, it’s so difficult to select just a few: Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker, Steven Meisel, Ellen Von Unwerth, Michal Pudelka, Billy Kidd and Richard Avedon.
Rosa: Can you tell me more about your process, the idea, the choice of model, scene, styling, film, processing, and any digital work?
Marta: Normally when I have an idea I always develop it, creating a mood board (also just in my head, don’t need always to have it on paper), and from this I just try to find the best location etc. I work with a team, so I talk a lot with them, trying to find the best styling and make up the shooting. It is teamwork. I try to allow everyone to be free, as well as the model, whom I prefer to follow and not to tell all the time what she should do. It is not always possible, but it is what I try to do the most of the cases. I retouch pictures for contrast, saturation, tonality and color balance using Photoshop.