French photographer Eric Martin creates surreal,
futuristic landscapes using beautiful women and darkly imaginative fashion
designers. He spoke with us about his influences and creative process.
Click the above image to view the slide show.
Zine: You've said music is what got you into photography. How did
this visual art emerge from music for you?
Eric Martin: When I began photography, I was in a punk-rock
band. So, it was natural for me to capture live reports. After that, I began
to shoot portraits and fashion.
EZ: How did you begin shooting fetish photography and how involved
are you in the fetish lifestyle?
EM: After almost 10 years, I knew I needed to evolve more. I began
trying to do something more aggressive while still aesthetic. Then I saw
an exhibition of Robert Chouraqui pictures, and I said, "Wow, that's I want
to do!" So I tried to get close to the fetish scene, and many stores helped
me by lending clothes and organizing exhibitions. It was a great pleasure
for me to work with those new materials (latex, vinyl, steel...) and people
seemed to like my work and my vision.
EZ: What about Robert Chouraqui's images have influenced you most?
Robert is the first fetish photographer I knew of. Afterwards I discovered
Christophe Mourthé and others, but I try to keep my own point of view, with
an emphasis on fashion.
EZ: There's a very surreal emotion from a lot of your images. How
do you come up with the ideas and stage them?
EM: I work using feeling! Feeling with models…I don't look for top-models
but pretty girls with charisma or personality. Feeling with clothes…I don't
often know what we will do before shooting. Both the models and I bring
clothes, and I want the model be comfortable in her head. I want her to
look like a superwomen and I want her to like it! And feeling too when I
work with designers.
EZ: You also use a lot of steel, concrete, steam, metal and signs
of urban decay. Do you live in a city? How consciously do your reflect your
attitude towards urbanity in your work?
EM: I'm living in Paris and I love this city. I have never had a
connection between my work and the town I live in, but you're right. I don't
really like fetish photographs in natural areas!
There's a lot of futuristic metalwork in the "costumes" your models wear.
Tell me about it.
EM: I met two designers that I like to work with. Le Marquis works
with steel, and women who wear it shine like warriors! The other is Sylvain
Coeurjolly, who works with inner-tube, and he is able to do incredible things
with it. Models in his creations are majestic. I also met Iron Tribes who
does diadems, corsets, bracelets and necklaces with steel. In them, women
look like sexy aliens.
EZ: Where do you find your models? How well do you know them and
what are your relationships like with them?
EM: Now I meet most of models on the web. I had a lot of contacts
but not enough time to shoot as I would like. I like to meet the girls before
shooting to speak about they don't want to do (and avoid bad feelings on
the shooting day). Often, I work several times with a model. It's easier
and more relaxing to work with a model you know well. And when it's the
girl who says, "I want to work with you again," I'm happy!
EZ: What's coming up for you in the future?
EM: I'm working on my first book. I think it will be printed this
year (2005), and I hope the next one will follow as soon as possible.
You can learn more about Eric Martin on www.num-eric.com.
Eric Martin - by Sez G.