Damien Vignaux is an artist of all trades, oozing creativity he is creating quite a buzz here in Berlin. As a photographer, a musician, an art director and the founder of his own design firm it was no surprise that on opening the door, one of his first statements was about how busy he had been recently. Migrating to the city from the South of France three years ago, his apartment has the products of his efforts dripping down the walls; creative paraphenalia scattered across the room.
His photographs are published on the web thick and fast. To jump into a series of his images is to find yourselves in a dream-like state where the light works so perfectly with the composition until you begin to doubt whether his subjects were always beautiful or perhaps we are looking at them through Vignaux tinted glasses, a filter through which aesthetics never falter. We met up with to meet the man behind the art ahead of the Oblast showcase for Berlin Fashion Week, taking place on the 3rd July 2012.
BAPS: What were you like as a child?
DV: Er, I don’t know. Still the same I think….just smaller.
BAPS: Why did you come to Berlin?
DV: I came to Berlin because I really needed to move from the south of France, where it was quite limited for things like fashion and photography, stuff like that. I wanted to have a bigger cultural change than just going to Paris. I wanted to try other cities, and Berlin was one of the cities where we played a lot, for music and I liked it. I thought I would have the first stop there and then I stayed.
BAPS: Can you tell us about your band?
DV: Yeah we have a techno project that is called Oblast. It’s deep techno, so it’s definitely more of a Berlin sound than a French sound. We have a whole graphic aesthetic on set so it’s always linked to more shows like fashion, photography….
BAPS: If you were to go somewhere in Berlin for techno where would you go?
DV: Urm I don’t… where would we go? For techno, for a proper dose of 90s techno, we go to Tresor! Or Berghain, that’s the classic one. But we like to go to Tresor once in a while, for the rough style of it. In Berghain it’s still all mixed up, the young and the old with the tourists and everything. Whereas Tresor is always the same experience. It’s very East German actually. It’s pretty rough, yeah.
BAPS: And what about your work…
DV: ….I come from motion design and graphic design, so I still mostly work as an art director.
BAPS: And you have your own design firm?
DV: Yeah yeah, I have a studio with Nico, doing commercials and music videos, stuff like that. When I came here, I started using shooting and photography to network more as I’m the art director of fashion magazine, Blonde. Shootings are more like experimenting with film, and we use them to network with people that we could use in our commercial projects. It’s like casting all the time.
BAPS: Are there any photographers that you really admire?
DV: It’s difficult to drop names now. I think that we consume more photography online than ever, you see so much. You remember the images but you don’t remember the names. I have a feed of portfolios that I follow, but its more really young people who are from all around the world.
BAPS: What’s your favourite kind of light?
DV: I love all light, because all light produces different results but I definitely prefer to shoot with available light, than in a studio. Obviously, daylight and the golden hours; late afternoon or early morning but it’s too hard to work with anyone early in the morning in Berlin…
BAPS: Perhaps they’re all still at Tresor?
DV: (Laughs) yeah and they don’t see the light…
Don’t miss a chance to meet Damien at the Oblast showcase for Berlin Fashion Week, taking place on the 3rd July 2012 at HBC.