Friday, 15 November 2013

Interview with Exterface

Hello Stéphane and Julien! Would you like to introduce yourselves to my readers?
Mostly known as Exterface, we're two French guys, nearly thirty, living in Paris. We're creating sensual pictures for almost ten years now.

Talk my through an average day in the life of you?
We kinda have our lives split in two. Photography on one hand and graphic design on the other. We try more and more to connect the two. We originally studied art and design, begun our careers as graphic designers and discovered photography later… Graphic design must have made the visual artists that we are today.  On an average day, work from 9am to 7pm as a team for corporate communication projects, then from 7pm to 11pm on our photographic projects… After all, it's all about telling stories, and coming up with a concept!

Describe yourselves as kids?
Dreamy, creative, different.

Has much changed now that you are fully grown?

We think that our mission as grown ups is to find a way to go back to the child we were back in the day. As a child you're free and art is all about freedom. We've always defended that freedom in our work. Never compromise!

So tell me how Exterface came to be? How did you both meet and how long did it take you to define your style that we now see in your work today?
Exterface is the fruit of love. We love each other and we wanted to create something that was ours. It's our playground. We met when Britney's Everytime song came out. We were both on a Madonna forum, discussing music of course in the "Off Topics" section, we used MSN to send each other MP3 (how strange now right?), discussed a lot (as it took forever back then!) but didn't think we could be together at all, you know how bizarre MSN chats can be! But we finally met, and as cheesy as it sounds, we never left each other since this first meeting.

I don't think I have ever heard anything more adorable since we entered the digital age.
The Exterface style, if there's one, was pretty much there from the beginning when we started to experiment and share our work with like a picture a day on Flickr. The idea behind it wasn't clear though, we had to figure out what was the whole point of our artistic process, but you could still see the touch.

How would you describe your photographic style to my readers?
We could say we try to capture beauty. We mostly work with male models, because that's what inspires us the most and also because we think men are not equals to women, in terms of photography, nudity specifically. We love working against conventions. Like "sex is vulgar", like "sensuality is only for women", like "that's too gay". Like we said we try to capture beauty, and immortalize it. Art for us is very much about fixing a moment and making it last eternally. Most importantly our work is about love, our love for our models, their love for their body, and the love that comes out of it. Our pictures are like "exterfaces" to an everlasting love.

Where do you find inspiration on a daily basis for your work?
Like most of us, from fucking everything! But daily we would say it's street life, pop, porn, art of course...

You have photographed many gorgeous models. Who have been some of your favourite subjects to shoot, and why?
We can't say that! We love them all, for different reasons. Our favorite subject is always the one that we're currently working on. The Sagat 2014 Calendar for instance.

So can you tell me a little about your Calendar project with Francois and what we might expect from the images you are creating? Francois looks like he’s been in a fight on the front cover!
We've been approached by François and his partner PH to collaborate on this calendar project for their brand KICK Sagat some time ago. We were really flattered and honored. We've worked with François a couple of times in the past, and it has always been a strong experience for us. The cover shot first literally illustrates what a kick is. But there are much more layers to this. It questions our perception of beauty, it questions people's judgment… It blows out the idea of what a calendar should look like! That's just a kick ass calendar!

So excited for this!

What would you say makes Francois Sagat such an interesting subject to photograph?
Don't get us started on this! First physically everything about him is graphic, so only from this, having him as model takes any subject to another level. As a performer, he knows him, he knows his brand, he's a visionnaire. He's a gem for us as photographers, we just need to bring ideas, give him clothes or not and let him work his magic. What we realized shooting like everyday with him lately, is that even though he's been doing this for a quite a while, shooting with almost everybody, he's still so adventurous, so devoted to what he does and also very trustful to artists like us he collaborates with. He's an inspiration. And we love him very much.

Can you talk about any other projects you are working on at the moment together?
Sure! We're working on developing our blog, "The Excapist" devoted to daydreaming which is very strong to our art and our way of life. We've also been working on travel posters, taking you visually to different cities… We're also working on a worldwide campaign for a famous american gay community… Exciting times for Exterface!
A guilty pleasure you can’t seem to quit?
Staring at sexy men in the street.

A song that makes your heart skip a beat?
Right now, it's Walking On Air by Katy Perry. 90's vibe. Ridiculously good.

If the world was coming to an end and you were allowed one last kiss, who would be lucky enough to land on your lips?
We would kiss each other, until the end.

What flavour of ice cream best describes your personalities?
Strawberry sorbet! It's vibrant, explosive and yet very sweet.

Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question?

Would you shoot with us one day?

You don't need to ask me twice! Blowing out the beard as we speak!

How do you like your eggs in the morning?
We don't eat in the morning!

What happens next?
Now? Work!
Thanks guys!

For more of Julien and Stéphane's brilliant visuals click here and for a behind the scenes look at their project with Francois Sagat click here.


1 comment

  1. J&S from Exterface are nowadays on top of the greatest artists I know in their Art. Love you guys. Jacques Stoffels, Belgium.


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