Back to Writing / 2-15-2005

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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.

Eros 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?

EM: 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!

EZ: 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

Eric Martin - by Sez G.