APRIL 16, 2020
INTERVIEW


AURELIE BAYAD




Beauty is a very subjective thing, so personal and yet so diffuse. Everywhere, it comes to life without giving us a choice. Aurélie's vision is simple and direct. She shows us her reality, raw and violent because so true, but at the same time full of love and sensuality.




Tell us about your journey up to now. How did all this begin?
I think it all started very organically. My mom’s side of the family is very music oriented, they all studied music in school. So my mom made me study music and ballet, I wasn’t so good at it but I had a fascination for making dresses for dolls and drawing. My mom put me in a lot of drawing classes as a child.

I studied art one year in Paris and discovered photography. Quickly I got really into image making, photographing nearly everything. So I went to the Royal Academy of Fine arts in Antwerp to study it, I spent my time exploring the city and exploring my art, making a ton of images. I met a lot of fashion designers and photographed some of their collections. Then I went on Erasmus in Prague, it was a turning point in my work, I discovered video art and started exploring with video as a medium.




Your photographs look very natural, powerful because without filter. Can you tell us about your style and your aesthetic intentions. And what do you want people to see through your photos?
My pictures are very raw, I want to make natural images. I work very spontaneously, trying to connect with the model. I am interested in raw and honest atmosphere but also in disturbing things, in questioning the audience through my images. To create some exciting, weird and unusual images.

I am not afraid to show hair of disgusting things from reality. I want people to open up to more alternative ways of seeing things, that things that are not traditionally beautiful are actually beautiful. I want to question this notion of beauty, to confronted people with the reality of things, the ugly side of life as much as the pretty one.




There is some sensuality, a certain elegance in your work. What is your relationship to your own body?
My relationship with my own body has been a journey. Today I feel good with it, I'm accepting and loving it. I used to not fully embrace it, i didn't feel good in my skin and gained // lost a lot of weight through the years. But with my work I learned how to love my body and appreciate it for what it is. Photographing myself has helped me a lot to realise who I was/am, also photographing strong women and seeing that everyone has stuff they're not happy about. I find it important to accept the flaws and qualities of oneself. I feel like you learn how to appreciate your own body with years, so I'm learning everyday how to love it!




What do you find most beautiful, most exciting about a woman?
I just love women in general, they’re so fascinating. It’s more like an attitude, a detail, a gesture. Face is really important for me but when I shoot I will always get more excited about a model who is confident within her skin and isn't afraid to make new and weird poses.




What do you think of the current situation of women in the world, and are you optimistic about the future?
Yes, I am optimistic, but I also think we have a long way to go. I’m afraid we might not get there during my lifetime. There has been so many positive changes in the last decades/century and it makes me very happy but it’s not quite perfect yet. Women are more willing to speak up about how sexuality and power are intertwined, for example with the me too movement. I love looking at mass media and seeing that queer women and women of power are more and more represented. Although this has changed a lot, everyday is still difficult for a lot of us.

One of the main subject behind my work is sexuality, but I want to go away from the typical male gaze where women are perfect and shiny. I aim to confront the viewer with their own gaze, their own desires and envies, their sexualization and objectification. Why can’t we just appreciate women for what they are and stop projecting our shit onto everything.




If we imagine a better world where women finally have the place they deserve, what do you think the woman of the future will look like?
When I have money I’d love to buy several islands and just repopulate it with women, all sorts of women.