Iris’ photographies are living paintings. She celebrates classical painters such as Botticelli, Ingres, or Rubens but tainted with modernism, where feminine sensuality reveals itself and is played on an opulent stage. There is a classical composition, but what is claimed is the strength of the picture. She wants to show feminine women, charismatic and strong. These women are heroines, goddesses, myths … A photographer and director, she lives between New York, London and Paris. She realises artistic videos and performances.
In 2005 she realises the multimedia performance DIVINTA inspired by living paintings, mixing different artistic disciplines such as photography, fashion, music, art and dance to realise “a totally feminine piece of art”. In June 2011, Brosch shows at the Di Venezia Biennale her Requiem for Women performance, which constitutes a reminiscence of violence, persecutions and repressions undergone by all women forever since. During the International Fashion Photography Festival in 2008 in Cannes, Iris Brosch photographies are displayed on the signs and screens of the festivals palace. In 2010, her pictures are showed during the ALL ABOUT COLOURS exhibition in Vienna.
How would you define the Iris Brosch style ?
Feminine, romantic and at the same time very strong, I am not afraid of eroticism. On one side feminine and powerful and on the other, romantic and erotic, I wanted to play with those two notions.
What is your definition of eroticism ?
That it should be beautiful, that it should create desire (laughs).
You claim the fact to shoot real women, real people, outside of the criteria imposed by fashion? Why ?
Yes! Young, older, large, plump… I think that in the fashion industry we are limited. The danger lies in formatting Barbies and Kens. Everything is the same, everything is homogeneous, there is no difference. It is very dangerous for society to create puppets, women who look like dolls in the end. We must create images that look like us, like me, like you. We must create a healthier society without this lying normative mask.
In your commission work, have you already proposed nonstandard models ?
It is very difficult. Sometime ago, before plump became a little bit fashionable, I often made offers, it was about 10 years ago. I wanted to use plump women from Picasso’s paintings, where women fly, and I was told it was not possible because Picasso represented nude women. Now it is changing a little but it is still limited, there are two categories: Neither too old, neither too big … it is still controlled. I proposed to the New York Times to realise a series of women after the menopause, something very erotic and I remember the news editor in front of me who understood as she was herself in her menopause and the board of directors didn’t want to or couldn’t. This series of women in their menopause, the magazine has just made it happen, and by a Young French guy, with porn stars. This makes me think of Dove, one of the very first ads with plump women, realised by Rankin. The problem of this ad is that we show non sensual women, in big ugly panties. Even with Claudia Schiffer, the picture of these panties would have been horrid.Why are we depriving them of eroticism? Thanks to Dove, now, we can find more images of sexy plump women. When we show old women, or large women, why do we have to make them asexual? This is typical, we must go slowly. Sometimes I can be too radical! But each proposition has been a refusal, yes. And now, I produce myself, it tires me to propose ideas which will be taken and reframed. The problem today is that we want many things aligned, formatted. 10 years, 15 years ago, we wouldn’t show plump women, and now it’s a fashion, it is repeated again and again, we are not reinventing ourselves, there isn’t any novelty in photography and especially in fashion photography. Everyone copies everyone. I read that it was hard for you to pick up the big contracts at the beginning, as a woman photographer, how did that happen? It was never really clearly said (laugher). Years ago, when I was working in Europe, my agent told me that clients have asked if I could hold the camera. This problem was everywhere. When it comes to money, there’s always a doubt: can she carry the camera? Take the responsibility? Hold the budget? At the moment when it comes to little shootings, there are many women photographers who are working and making editorials, but look at those who have budgets, it represents one woman out of 10 men! It is still true today! There are many women photographers, but not often for big contracts, if the client can choose, he will unfortunately choose the man.