Young boys donned in neon blue leggings, sleeping children in vivid-coloured bedspreads and shocks of electricity drawn across faces. These are the unquestionable beautiful works of photographer Viviane Sassen. Like Guy Bourdin and Juergen Teller before her, Sassen is blessed with the ability to straddle fine art photography and fashion photography in some of the most exciting ways we’ve seen for a while.
The fashion, photography and fine art graduate of Arnhem’s Royal Academy has lent her strong aesthetic to some of the biggest brands and magazines around. Stella McCartney, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton are just a handful of the luxury brands commissioning her talents and Dazed and Confused, Self Service and Wallpaper magazine have all roped her in for dramatic editorial shoots. In her perfectly placed shoots she uses a digital camera and can have as many as 40 assistants at a time.
As for fine art, Sassen takes a very different route. Heading to Africa – often South Africa or Kenya – for her dreamlike, strange and beautiful images that are always ambiguous in meaning and vivid in colour. This time using a Mamiya 6-7 camera and a much smaller team.
This month she publishes Roxanne, a visual journal dedicated to her friend and muse Roxane Danset that chronicles their relationship. The images span over a number of years and see Roxane placed across locations and positioned in distorted ways. From surreal silhouettes or face-pulling portraits, Roxane is bold work that shows Sassen’s vision at her heart – lots of space, a focus on colour and a visceral core.