Artistic Director and Photographer Carolina Mizrahi
Fashion stylist turned artistic director and photographer Carolina Mizrahi speaks in pinks, blues and sea foam greens.
The Rio-born Brazilian turned London expat uses extreme colour blocking to shed an artistic and fashionable commmentary on the representation of women in the media and advertising. By imposing colours to such an extent she is playing with our preconceptions of “girly” pastels and idealised femininity. In her plastic doll editorial which brings to mind a slightly sardonic grown up Barbie world, pink is attached to the socio-sexual ideals specific to women. Yet by using the colour in such a singular way, Mizrahi is shattering such ideals and reversing the codes of sexuality in the most ironic and efficacious ways.
Her work has been featured in magazines such as Vogue Italy, Old Tat Magazine and Pigeons and Peacocks. Yet fashion magazines are the very vehicles of the female ideals that Mizrahi is forcing us to question. So for her work to be featured in such magazines ripe with pedestal-raised beauty notions is a paradox through which Mizrahi unveils an even stronger message in her intricately layered double-edged creations.
Mizrahi is reversing codes far beyond the glossy pages of fashion magazines. In her personal series such as In-Betweeness, little boys are decked out as little girls dressing beyond their years. In Mirror, she sexualises women of a more advanced age. In Underlife, coiffed and makeup painted beauties are submerged under; their images distorted under the lens of water. With her examination of beauty magnified, distorted and dissected with a tinge of surrealism, Mizrahi is exploring taboos, shattering rituals of beauty, and forcing us to question gender-stereotypes that we have taken for granted in the most creatively feminist way. We interviewed Carolina after meeting her at The Other Art Fair and this is what we uncovered..
CM: How do you find yourself doing art direction and photography? What brought you down this path.
I always have a strong view of how I want the final image to look in my mind. This willing to bring my ideas to life made me start working on different sides of the creative process, such as: styling, set design, photography and art direction. I usually collaborate with really talented artists that help me to bring those ideas to life.
CM: What is the fundamental message or aesthetic behind your work that ties everything you create together?
All my work somehow turns around the representation women in advertising, beauty ideals and gender stereotypes conceptually speaking. Aesthetically, I am particularly interested on developing a cross between illustration, installation and photography on my final images.
CM: You use colour to communicate in such a powerful way. What do they reveal? Do certain colours reflect certain meanings for you?
I enjoy working with a very small colour scheme. On some of my works, such as Avatar (pink project), I was trying to raise questions around gender stereotypes. On my last project for Vogue Italy, the use of red was my interpretation on fire and passion.
CM: Can you tell us more about the social and political philosophies behind your work?
Currently, I wish to raise questions in relation to the representation of women in advertising, gender stereotypes and beauty rituals. Questioning or investigating why we take some stereotypes for granted.
CM: The moment you felt you broke through?
I don’t think I really arrived on this point, although shooting for Vogue Italy was a pretty important step in my journey.
CM: How do you prepare for a shoot?
It really depends on the purpose of the shoot. I always like to start looking for some theoretical inspiration, move to aesthetic research and mock up of ideas.
CM: Tell us more about your editorial collaborations. Do you usually come on as a
photographer or do you oversee the fashion styling and direction of the shoot?
It depends. Sometimes I work as a photographer, sometimes as a stylist… although I am always involved on the art direction side of every project I take part in.
CM: Where do you sell your work?
I currently sell it at Arrivals (Stockholm), The Other Art Fair Shop and at my own online store (www.carolinamizrahishop.com).
CM: How do rio and London compare as cities for creatives?
I find London much more lively for networking and creative opportunities than Rio. I was born in Rio, therefore I know a lot of very talented people there with whom I have collaborated extensively. Although, if you arrive in Rio knowing no one, the creative field is not so open comparing to London.
CM: What are you working on now? Next?
I am currently working on a new project which I am planning to exhibit next year.
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