Axel Dupeux is 27 and therefore is only 38 years away from retirement.
MOSSLESS: Did you study photography? How do you think it helped?
AXEL DUPEUX: I graduated in 2003 in a photoschool in Paris called Speos, good place, good people, but besides pure technic there is only so much you can learn in photoschool. It was more about buying time to experiment and build a portfolio using fancier toys.
A lot of international students were attending the school, so the most useful thing I learned was actually to speak english fluently, minus the terrible accent.
ML: What’s your favourite assignment you’ve taken?
AD: The very first gig I got when I came to NY in 2005. It was a story about the artist Alfredo Martinez for Mass Appeal magazine that sadly didn’t survive the economy.
We were waiting to hear from him. He eventually gave us a meeting at midnight in some real sketchy part of Redhook that looked like a body dumping zone. His loft was the most extraordinary place I have ever been to, a complete and faboulous mess, mountains of handpainted ski shoes, dermatological books teared on the floor, and even a machine gun in one corner.
It’s actually because I had so much fun shooting his place that I started photographing interiors.
More recently, I had to photograph the chef Jean-Georges, when he proposed us a tasting I was already starting to find the guy extremely sympathetic, by the 4th course I was openly calling him an F-ing genius, by the dessert and after several glasses of wine I could not talk anymore. It’s a miracle the pictures turned up well, I have absolutely no recollection of shooting them. One of my recent favorite photograph actually came out of that shoot.
ML: How would you describe your style?
AD: My mum used to be an art director in advertising. When she looks at my work, she usually says it’s too frontal, that all these lines in the backgrounds are too systematic, that my pictures are too dark and that people are not smiling enough.
I guess it is a fairly good description of my style.
ML: What do you like shooting the most?
AD: I would kill for any kind of editorial portraiture, the mental discipline that it imposes, It’s very short, very dense. You have 20 minutes, you have to make it happen no matter what.
Also the diversity of the subjects is what really makes the lifestyle fun, you can meet a business mogul, the former first lady of France, norwegian musicians and gangsta rappers all in the same week. There aren’t so many disciplines where you can see that deep into a wide bunch of people, beside proctology of course.