Camberwell College of Arts graduate Benjamin Whitley has been making waves in the fashion industry
Benjamin Whitley only completed his BA in photography at Camberwell College of Art last year, and already he has already been featured in the Telegraph and Vogue.co.uk, shot the SS14 campaign for Mako, and shown work at the South London Gallery.
Born into a family of image makers – his mother, grandfather and aunt have all been photographers at some point, and his other grandfather is a painter – he has a sophisticated approach that he applies to fashion, film and photography, and the juncture at which it meets art.
“Fashion is interesting due to its construction in terms of image,” he says. “It has a likeness to real time but inherently it’s completely hyperreal. There’s an element of performance that is really exciting; it allows for a collision of style and roleplay that is unique to the medium. I’m interested in how clothing can take on its wearer and vice versa, and how fashion imagery can create completely unrealistic and opulent scenarios. The fantasy of it all is really glamorous.”
Attracted to “the way that pale hues balance and play off each other, and especially how black can cut through softer colours”, his work has a distinctive aesthetic already, which runs through projects such as Neutrals, Form and Fringing. “Neutrals was shot with the intention of expanding the result in the space of the gallery; I had a clear idea of how I wanted to use the images as a base material for my first solo show, Palette I,” he says.
“I shoot a lot using the languages of fashion and editorial, but while studying I’ve been exploring how these languages can exist in other forms and how their context can be broadened, particularly spatially and materially. For example, recently I’ve been working a lot with installation using object, print and space. I think there’s an interesting relationship that builds when you combine a tangible object and something that exists in a more immaterial sense, like digital images.”
Find more of Benjamin’s work here.
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