From Playboy to Skin Two, from Penthouse
to Marquis, prolific fashion and fetish photographer Robert Chouraqui
has made a vibrant mark on the world of erotic art. He has said he's inspired
more by the "intimacy" of faces rather than the "anonymity" of bodies.
Click any image to view the pop-up
gallery slide show.
Sez G: Where in France are you based?
Robert Chouraqui: I am based in Provence, the sunny south of France,
after many years spent in Paris. It is more quiet, but the models love to
come down there. I also shoot a lot in London and sometimes in NY and LA.
Sez G: How do you think French fashion and women compliment your artistic
attitude and creative necessities? What kind of fashion design are you drawn
Robert Chouraqui: Strange fashion or designer fashion. The more extreme the clothes
are, the better the challenge. It's a chance to shoot out a superb photo.
Sez G: How do you decide when to shoot black and white instead of color?
Robert Chouraqui: I use to do both during each session, but
now that I've gone digital, I do less black and white…though I still shoot
occasionally in black and white with old medium-format Fuji film camera.
I still employ black and white when I want very strong contrast or Horst
feeling in the picture.
Sez G: You shoot a lot of the darker side of desire. What's your personal
relationship to the fetish community and BDSM world?
Robert Chouraqui: I have always liked to photograph all different faces and looks:
gothic, punk, princess, submissive, etc. I don't like to shoot strong BDSM;
I prefer the sensuality, for example, of the soft use of ropes. I have never
photographed technical rope suspensions where the girl cannot move anymore.
Sez G: How much computer retouching do you generally do?
Robert Chouraqui: A lot to add backgrounds, but it is rapid, as I am good at it
and the computers are now powerful enough. I used to do a lot of darkroom
magic before the digital area like Polaroid transfers and lith printing.
Sez G: What kind of relationship do you have with
Robert Chouraqui: Usually very good, but it is up to them to really say. When they
come back for more, I think the feeling is the same on both sides
Sez G: How much of a shoot (setting, lighting, etc) is planned out for
you and how much is spontaneous? How much direction do you give your models?
Robert Chouraqui: Nearly everything is spontaneous (except when an art director
for a catalog is there). I keep the giving-direction thing to a minimum,
except if it is a shoot involving several people where you need to be more
direct to coordinate everyone.
Sez G: What's coming up for you in the future?
Robert Chouraqui: I'm working on a new book and exhibition at Echo gallery in Chicago
You can learn more about Robert Chouraqui at www.robertchouraqui.com.
Robert Chouraqui - by Sez G.