Timo Helgert’s escapism for REDValentino’s Spring 2021 collection

Timo Helgert’s escapism for REDValentino’s Spring 2021 collection

Giulia Pacciardi · 11 months ago · Art

Romantic and elegant, daring and rebellious.
To share the spirit of the Spring 2021 collection, the Roman maison REDValentino entrusted German artist Timo Helgert.
He’s known for his virtual and escapist installations.
In his digital lookbook, the garments are inserted into a dialogue between nature that has taken over its space and a city that no longer runs quickly. A new ideal of beauty is created between the desire for freedom and to escape, and a new everyday life that blends with dreams. And it’s perfectly expressed by the maison’s clothing and accessories.

To understand more about Timo’s vision and how his collaboration with REDValentino began, we asked him to tell us more.

How did you become immersed in the digital world? What were the key moments in your career that led you to collaborate with big brands in the luxury, fashion and technology sectors?

I started at a very early age and it’s always been a part of my life. My father bought a very large used computer when I was just a little kid. It was one of those giant computers that made beeping sounds and ran the first version of Windows. So while other kids were drawing and playing outside, I always played on the machine to discover new tools. My father was a programmer and actually even wrote some programs for me so I could practice my English vocabulary using the computer. It must have been around the year 2000. The next key moment was during my teenage years when the technology got better.

Instead of buying a PC, my father and I actually went out to build our own. We purchased all the parts. Back then it was way more complicated than now so everything had funny colors and looked strange. However, it taught me about how the system works and that you can craft your own tools. At that time, I discovered editing software and also had a big passion for video equipment – but also for sound. I made short films, edited them with visual effects and uploaded them to the beginnings of YouTube, where they reached quite a bit of views. Some of the kids in my class discovered the channel and secretly told me, others thought I was strange and bullied me. Fast forward many years, this technical approach and love to the digital steadily evolved and my natural progression was to collaborate with different agencies and clients on their projects. I never reached out to a client, but since then I always got approached.
To summarize it quickly, my path led me from Visual Effects to Motion Graphics, to the music industry, to art directing and now to luxury, fashion and technology. Personally, from experiencing all of this, I must say, that I love the luxury fashion industry the most because it’s full of inspiring people and leaders. Everyone is so open to the technical and new approach. It’s really a great fit and I truly feel fulfilled. The collaboration with REDValentino really is a representation of my passion.

Your “Return to Nature” series was made while many countries were in lockdown. At its core, there’s a blooming nature in places that have actually been uprooted.

Yes, the goal was to create something for all the people affected by the lockdown and harshmeasures. It is hard to see how friends and even family are affected by the lockdown. Many lost their jobs and it’s not easy to stay indoors when the outside world is so vibrant and colorful – especially during the spring. So the natural thought for me was to bring nature back to the people in a digital form by reforming places they know in a unique way.

Does your imagination reflect the desire to live with it while respecting it? Or is it the representation of a dystopian future in which nature takes back its spaces by any means?

The imagination and focus of my series are to showcase a world that is in balance with nature.
Where we don’t think in either white or black, city or nature. I think our words actually make it hard to think of everything as a whole that is connected because we give nature names like “park” which is a secluded space in a city to allow a little bit of “controlled” nature. So I wondered how a city would look where both sides are equally respected and fully blooming. It’s not one or the other. It’s the best of both – waiting for us, while we are in lockdown.

For REDValentino, you created digital artworks that are the background for the Spring 2021 collection. Why do you think the brand has decided to go in the direction of worlds that don’t exist?

They are worlds that don’t exist, but they are deeply familiar with our everyday lives. When I think of REDValentino, I think of a fine luxury way of combining elements from different cultures and centuries. By finding the best of both and uniting it. Since my series attempted to do something similar, but with spaces, I think it was a great fit as a space for the REDValentino collection.

What kind of experience did you want to give those who will browse the lookbook of the collection? Which elements or concepts did you draw inspiration from to create it?

I hope that those who will browse the lookbook can see the visual as a whole, without being influenced by pre-existing labels in our heads. What does “urban” mean? I hope that everyone approaches the visual like a piece of art with curiosity and wonder, and explores the connection between everything from a bird’s eye view.

Due to the health emergency, we’ve seen how different brands have decided to resort to augmented reality. Do you think this combination will continue to exist even when we return to normalcy? Or was it a temporary solution?

Personally, I am a huge promoter of Augmented Reality and it often crosses my mind. If you think about our current state of technology, we use small devices as “windows” to look into a digital world “the internet” which is pretty separated from our real world. Because of this, people often lose sight of reality while they are bent over, staring into their screens. With AR, we finally have a tool to combine both spaces, and AR becomes the bridge between both. Similar to my environments and to how REDValentino can romantically combine different cultures and centuries, AR can combine the magical with our real world so we can have richer experiences. Therefore, I think especially for fashion, a very creative industry, this technology will be game-changing. And actually, I think that brands such as REDValentino are leaders in using this technology, showing other brands and sectors what is possible.

In this period we have seen how various issues related to human rights, mental health, and climate change have become the focus of important conversations involving different realities. Do you believe that art can play a role in these debates? As an artist, do you feel a responsibility towards these social issues?

Yes, I agree. Every century has its problems and we’re currently facing a lot of new challenges. In my opinion, if you think about art, it’s actually so much more than the word entitles. If you take escapism, for example. It’s an amazing way for many of us to relax and pause from stressful situations. I think this is very needed to have space and to reflect. It gives us power and optimism. We can use art to address climate change by showing humanity, which is very visual. What a beautiful world we could have if we worked together to solve it. So I think art can be very versatile. You can use it to tell stories or you can use it as a relief. My personal opinion about the future and current problems is: I try my best to solve problems with my talents and I hope to inspire anyone, even nonartists, to use their unique talents to help. Even one step at a time is a great step forward.

Pictures courtesy of REDValentino

Timo Helgert’s escapism for REDValentino’s Spring 2021 collection
Art
Timo Helgert’s escapism for REDValentino’s Spring 2021 collection
Timo Helgert’s escapism for REDValentino’s Spring 2021 collection
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Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022

Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022

Giulia Guido · 5 days ago · Photography

On a Monday unlike any other, I was walking along a small Florentine alleyway, dimly lit by the sun, until a marvel appeared before my eyes. Piazza della Signoria welcomes me with its beauty, and no matter how many times you have been to Florence, it always seems incredible to think that a place like this can survive the passage of time.
It is here, in the Camera d’Arme of Palazzo Vecchio, that I take my place to discover the new Lavazza Calendar 2022

Last year, Lavazza presented the Calendar under the banner of The New Humanity, inviting us to imagine a future based on a new humanity at a time of uncertainty and fear like few other times in recent decades. It is perhaps in this concept that the theme of next year’s Calendar, I Can Change The World, has its roots. 

In a way, it is as if Lavazza is telling us that it is not enough to imagine and dream of a different future but that we must take action and fight to build it. So, what better place than the city that was the birthplace of Brunelleschi, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Dante Alighieri, Machiavelli, but also Guccio Gucci, Oriana Fallaci and Tiziano Terzani to show how never change will come until each of us dedicates our lives to this cause.

As in any self-respecting battle, we need captains to follow and imitate. Lavazza offers us six of them, six outstanding personalities in their field, six young people who have managed to combine their passion with all the values they believe in. 

The street dancer Shamell Bell, who fights against racism, the marine biologist Cristina Mittermeier, who documents the advancing destruction of the oceans with underwater and other photographs, the Afghan refugee rapper Sonita Alizada, and the musician Ben Harper, who has always been committed to fighting social inequality and climate change. The sextet is completed by Shilpa Yarlagadda, a jewelry designer who supports female empowerment, and land artist Saype

To direct and photograph these six activists, or artivists – as Francesca Lavazza called them when she presented the project – Lavazza entrusted the task to the best director of photography ever, Emmanuel Lubezki

Lubezki

I held my breath, and with me all the press present, as he took the stage. Just a few words are enough to understand that the purity and sensitivity of the images he creates and that we are used to seeing on the big screen are just a reflection of his personality, something I was able to ascertain during the minutes we spent together after the conference and perhaps the main reason why he was chosen to tell the story of the claim “I Can Change The World” with 12 shots. 

Shots that want to, and can, only give the LA to the change we wish to see in the world and of this Chivo – Emmanuel Lubezki’s nickname – is aware. “It would be too pretentious to think that a calendar can change the world”, he tells me, adding “the only thing I can do is amplify the voices of these artists. Each of them is working really hard to change the world. They are deeply optimistic and when you are optimistic you really live your life, believing in what you are doing, and they are doing it. In this case, my job is a humble one and I put myself at their service to tell them who they are and what they do in the hope of setting off positive vibes in those who discover them.

Lubezki

I can sense from the way he talks about it and from the shiny eyes that sometimes betray him that the bond created with the six protagonists of the Calendar is real and deep. Finding out that each of them was shot in different places on the Planet that show both the impact of climate change and the beauty the world we live in has to offer, and that Chivo experienced them all alongside the young activists, even being directed by them, only confirmed my thoughts. “I spoke to them,” he tells me, “we talked and I immediately understood that I shouldn’t work as a photographer, but more like a director of photography, letting myself be directed by them and also being guided by their ideas. This is why we have portraits in close-up, but also photos where the landscape dominates.” 

At this point, it really only takes one look at the photos to understand how the 12 shots create a more complex and structured narrative. “From the desert chosen by Sonita to the Caribbean Sea where I photographed Cristina, all the landscapes we worked in are endangered and shooting these six young people immersed in the beauty and fragility of these places underlines their profound optimism that I mentioned at the beginning. I tried to create a journey through the calendar, through the different places, but also through light“. 

This choice should not come as a surprise, as Lubezki is internationally recognized precisely for his meticulous and perfect use of natural light. “Well – he confides – I have to say that the use of natural light came from the directors I work with, in particular Terrence Malick, who called me to work with him to make a film entirely with natural light. Thanks to his knowledge of the behaviour of natural light, but also of photography, we were able to make four films together using only natural light. For Revenant it was different and I think it was interesting for Alejandro to explore this world and understand how to move and work during the day with respect to light. But it wasn’t me who had the initial idea.” Nevertheless, this stylistic imprint has now become his signature and we can find it within the Calendar as well, in fact he added “In this particular case, I incorporated natural light into the Calendar because I thought it would give a purer result, which would help me incorporate the characters within the landscape, although sometimes I used flash. For Saype, for example, I had to. His picture was taken between three and four in the morning in Alaska and it was so dark that I had to use lights“. 

Lubezki

As mentioned a few lines above, the one created by Lavazza and Emmanuel Lubezki is a voyage of discovery of the world we occupy for the short time of a lifetime and which we are taking too much for granted. To some, the choice of entrusting the production and art direction to a cinematographer used to working in the film industry may raise eyebrows. If, however, you dig deeper and look at Chivo’s Instagram profile (you can find him as @chivexp, the name given to him by Steven Soderbergh), the circle is closed and all doubts are cleared.
As one of the 500,000 people who follow him, I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to ask him what he thought of Instagram, suddenly finding myself talking to a 56-year-old person who probably understands better than me and many young people what the right use is. “I started using Instagram both because I wanted to know what it was about, but also because, having two daughters, I was worried about the effect it has on young people. Gradually I began to discover an encyclopedic aspect and it became a place to find incredible photographs, dancers, choreographers, painters, musicians, artists. Finally, it also became a place to meet people, Saype I met through Instagram.”

Our meeting concludes by agreeing that smartphones have, to all intents and purposes, changed the way we take photographs, but that if the result is to live outside the screen of a phone then you have to rely on other tools. “If you’re going to print photos, say the size of those for the Lavazza Calendar, you’ll probably need a higher quality camera“. 

I take my leave with the knowledge that I have just had one of those once-in-a-lifetime encounters and one phrase keeps ringing in my head, “I Can Change The World”. 

Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
Photography
Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
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Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes

Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes

Buddy · 4 days ago · Photography

Joshua Rhodes is a Californian photographer present on Instagram with the accounts @fuzzyaxolotl and @fuzzyanalog.

His images are charged with solar eroticism: pin-up style models, portrayed with irony and sensuality, with a vintage style that seems to echo the editorial taste of Playboy and a certain 70s erotic cinema.

The statuesque bodies of blonde models shine in the sun on perfect beaches, emerge from the water of the ocean or crystalline pools.

Natural shots, delicate and glossy lights.

Check out a selection of his shots here, follow him on Instagram and on his personal website.

Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
Photography
Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
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The world’s best nature photography of 2021

The world’s best nature photography of 2021

Tommaso Berra · 4 days ago · Photography

After the ranking of the best astronomical and microscope photographs of 2021, these days the best wildlife photos of the last year have also been awarded. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a competition organized by the Natural History Museum in London, now in its 57th edition.
There are many aspects that make extraordinary the 100 photos in competition, taken by professional photographers or amateurs and selected from 50 thousand proposals. On the one hand, the technique used and the patience in waiting to take the perfect shot, unrepeatable in many cases. On the other hand, the unusual point of view, which brings viewers closer to unusual natural events or animals that are difficult to approach, such as the shot of the spider as big as a human hand or the “selfie” taken by a grizzly bear in front of the carcass of a deer in the United States.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest is divided into 19 categories, from which the two winners have been announced. Laurent Ballesta, who specializes in aquatic photography, won the Adult Grand Title Winner with an image capturing some camouflaged groupers in French Polynesia emerging from a cloud of eggs and sperm. It took the French photographer five years of night diving to capture this moment, which occurs only during the July full moon period.
The other winner of the wildlife photo contest was Vidyun R. Hebbar, just ten years old, who was awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image of a spider wrapped in its web, taken in Bangalore, India.

foto naturalistiche | Collater.al
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
Photography
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
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Female portraits by Marat Safin

Female portraits by Marat Safin

Giulia Guido · 4 days ago · Photography

Women are the protagonists of the shots by Russian self-taught photographer Marat Safin. Lonely women, women in the house, in the kitchen or lying on the bed, women immersed in nature, free among the high grass, women looking in the car or immortalized in spontaneous poses. 

Marat’s female portraits convey a sense of calm, intimacy. 

The warm light that we find in all her shots immediately gives the family atmosphere, giving us an air of home, of familiarity. 

In our gallery you can find a selection of her shots, to find out more go to the Marat Safin’s Instagram profile

maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
maratneva Marat Safin | Collater.al
Female portraits by Marat Safin
Photography
Female portraits by Marat Safin
Female portraits by Marat Safin
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