Culture Shifters: Henrik Purienne
Photographer Henrik Purienne’s seventies utopia of soft-filtered naked gals… Words by Derek Rielly If you’re the sorta man who litters his table with high-end mags you’ll know all about Mirage. It was created in 2008 ago by South African film director and photographer Henrik Purienne and his German designer pal Frank Rocholl. Describe for me, […]
Photographer Henrik Purienne’s seventies utopia of soft-filtered naked gals…
Words by Derek Rielly
If you’re the sorta man who litters his table with high-end mags you’ll know all about Mirage. It was created in 2008 ago by South African film director and photographer Henrik Purienne and his German designer pal Frank Rocholl. Describe for me, Mr Purienne! “Mirage is a trendsetting 400 pages magazine object inspired by the Jetset Lifestyle of the 60/70ties. Featuring Fashion’s most exciting image makers collectively creating a new wave of bohemian futurism. The girl of your dreams in a movie projected straight from your imagination.” In other words, hot gals shot nekkid retro.
It ain’t exactly prolific. Three mags in five years and one book. But elusive breeds exclusive. And no one is more elusive than Mr Henrik Purienne himself, late twenties, who is currently living in the Hollywood Hills. I ask for an interview and he tells me to email questions, which I do. His answers are brief. I ask for a phoner. “I’m up in the Hollywood Hills with no reception,” he writes. How about I swing by your house and we do it face-to-face, I say. “I’m not such a fan of interviews, really,” he says.
I hear it. I ain’t either. And it doesn’t matter, not really, at least not when it comes to the prime-of-life hormone gushing Henrik Purienne. Just look at the photos!
Stab: Jobs are for suckers, y’said in an earlier interview. Tell me why… HP: You know that story of the rich banker dude who can finally afford to retire on an island so he can chill and fish all day? He ends up sitting next to the beach bum on the pier who has been fishing all his life. Describe for me your entourage: who are these gals, individually, and what role do they play in your life? Friends and girlfriends. real people.. Charisma! What is it? A bad 80s word? How do you get some? How’d y’get yours? I avoid adjectives in general. What’s your jam, photo wise? What makes a good photo, in your opinion? It’s like I always say, good is good, bad is bad. What sort of machine you string around your neck to steal your moments? Let’s just say a canon 5D. How do you get the gals to lighten the fuck up? I look them in the eyes. Why does nudity freak people out? Cause they can’t buy it. Cape Town and Paris, home towns? Is true? Where would I find you right now? I was born and raised in Cape Town. I like to keep my movements on the lowdown, okay… What’s with the warm-filter aesthetic? You a kid of the seventies? Are you referring to sun? I’m a kid of the 90s. What were you doing 10 years ago? Making documentaries. Who do you pal around with? Anyone who hates me. Who would you like most to shoot but haven’t? I prefer nobody to somebody. Who have you enjoyed shooting the most? My girlfriend. How’d shooting for American Apparel thing come about? I’m just a contributor. I like what they stand for. When and how did you start Mirage? It’s really just my personal scrapbook. How about the Purienne books? Two so far, yeah? If there’s a third, let me know, cause I ain’t got. You must be living in the future. This was my first one. Describe the most exquisitely sensual photo you’ve ever taken? Girls fresh out of the ocean, dripping wet with sun on their face. Can you toss some advice out there on shooting gals? Yes. Please don’t shoot girls if you’re a shit photographer. It’s disrespectful. In my experience, photographers tough talk when it comes to shooting gals but turn into blubbering lil boys once a gal turns it on. What makes you diff? I do it the other way round. Flip the script all AC/DC if you know what I mean.
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