Art star: photographer Arnaud Lajeunie on his W* September cover and Louvre-Lens shoot

Art star: photographer Arnaud Lajeunie on his W* September cover and Louvre-Lens shoot

For our September (W*210) style special shoot, we’re looking at life through a lens as we make an impression at the Louvre’s sister gallery in northern France.

We sat down with Paris-based photographer Arnaud Lajeunie to weigh in on the concept behind the shapely fashion story – entitled ’Art star’ – that also took pride of place on our limited edition cover.

W*: What was the idea behind the gallery concept?
Arnaud Lajeunie: Interesting question, as there was no ‘concept’, just an impulse. Concepts are something serious, I think we just had a will to explore that special place.

What about the gallery appealed as a location? For instance, it is distinctly modern architecturally speaking, but you shot in the Grande Galerie among old masters…?
It was the relationship between its SANAA architecture and the very classical works of art on display that intrigued us. The raw poetry of the architecture, which subtly evoked the passing of time, all the while facing very figurative art.

How did you cast the gallery-goers?
Actually we did not cast them – they were the people around us while we worked there. Some were intrigued and feeling like they wanted to interact; we let them do what they wanted, pose with Valerija [the model] etc. It was really nice. We made good friends that day.

And your direction for the model’s poses? What were you trying to achieve with her shapes?
Valerija is Valerija. She knows what to do. I was very far from her most of the time, with a 300mm lens. I always entered the room before her, and then I let her evolve in it and capture whatever happens. Most of the time she did not know where I was.  

Your early work was very connected to nature. Where are you headed now, creatively speaking?
It’s true I like interacting with landscapes. I still do in various editorial and commercial works. For me it goes hand in hand with the rest. It’s a whole.

The shoot originally featured in the September 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*210)

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