Representing the creative future

Is 2020 the time of the elevated self-portrait?

Hubert Crabières on wearing objects and adapting his creativity to the new normal

Self Portrait by Huber Crabieres

Shooting from his flatshare in the suburb of Argenteuil in north-west Paris, image maker Hubert Crabières finds benefits in working from home. As the apartment he occupies used to be an industrial unit, he’s got lots of freedom in terms of space for experimentation and play. Quarantined at home for the last couple of months, Hubert turned the camera to himself and took self-portraits on a daily basis wearing a different costume each time, all of which he made from objects accumulated over the years for his shoots. The result is a collection of 55 costumes. “Each project I stage is often determined by an obsession of the moment that pushes me to frantically collect an object , as well as its variants. This project is therefore not quite a series or images in itself, but rather the documentation of a creative dynamic that I had to adapt during this particular period.”

Self Portrait by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with smoke by Hubert Crabieres

Not only has Hubert been thoroughly documenting his environment and the people with whom he works, now with this recent  project, Hubert is doing a round-up of all the elements that helped him create these different stories. These objects were, after all, what elevated the normality of his studio to an art form and emphasized the narrative that was made up on the spot. “When something’s taken out of its original context, it can take a whole other meaning, say a beach ball in a living room. Just because we aren’t used to seeing it in such a place doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong there,” he says. “Without falling into some sort of political creed,” the photographer pursues, “it’s a play on norms and conventions.”

The DIY ethic is a recurrent, if not a constitutional, element throughout the image maker’s work and that’s something that’s been favourably welcomed by the fashion industry. At the Hyères festival last year, Hubert won the American Vintage Fashion Prize after presenting a selection of archive pictures that featured his habitually bold yet homely installations, a title that came with a cash prize of 15,000 euros and a photo project offer commissioned by the brand that would be displayed in one of their boutiques in Paris.

 

Self Portrait with shoes by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with socks by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with balls by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with colour pencils by Hubert Crabieres

With the support that he received, the photographer printed the pictures of the beach and the landscapes he took while being in Hyères on pieces of fabric and covered his entire flat with them. The imagery features lively scenes of children laughing and playing, with adults joining them. “The people who model for me already know each other in some way or another. That way there’s no ice-breaking introductions to do,” says the photographer. “The way they act, I haven’t told them so. It’s just them being themselves.” 

During a time when photographers and creators have to make limitations part of their creative process, Hubert’s work is a great example of how a photographer can actively define all elements of a fashion image.

Self Portrait with paper flowers by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with self portraits by Hubert Crabieres
Is 2020 the time of the elevated self-portrait?
Self Portrait by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with flowers by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with hair by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with fabric by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with house models by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with clothes by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with emojis by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with clay and fake rhinestones by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with sparklers by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with paper cut outs by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with fabric by Hubert Crabieres
Self Portrait with magazines by Hubert Crabieres

1 Granary

Magazine Issue 6

With unprecedented honesty and depth, 1 Granary Issue 6 dives into the work and lives of fashion designers today. As a response to the construction of desire and personality cults that govern our industry, the magazine steps away from the conventional profiles and editorials, focussing instead on raw work and anonymous, unfiltered testimonies. For the first time ever, readers are given a truthful insight into the process, dreams, fears, hardships, and struggles of today’s creatives.

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