Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1976, but raised in Hamburg, Heji Shin is a German photographer listed by the New York Times as one of the “breakout stars” of 2019. Known for her deliberately provocative art and fashion works, and sometimes explicitly sexual, whose subjects are people and animals often represented as allegories, Shin declared that “doing something just out of the desire to be transgressive and break certain taboos is very stupid.” As the image we present here demonstrates, her research focuses on intimacy and trust – feelings threatened by contemporary media. “I don’t admire good manners or ‘right’ political views in art,” he explains. “I admire the courage.”
Heji Shin for Vogue Italia in January
A powerful feline, threatening in its attributes – nails, teeth – yet elegant and calm: it is the symbolic representation of the primeval and hieratic animal force, evoked by the American artist Tschabalala Self (1990). His collages mostly explore the intersectionality of race, sexuality and gender, and routinely focus on the black female body, as well as the more or less accepted fantasies surrounding it. “Black panthers are symbolic animals,” he says, “known for strength, mystery, beauty. Here I used various materials mixed with paint and thread. The silhouette of this panther is borrowed from the symbol of the Black Panther Party organization, designed in 1966 by Ruth Howard and Dorothy Zellner ».
Tschabalala Self for Vogue Italia in January
A small ñandu (a South American ostrich) “met” by photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti south of Buenos Aires, during a visit to her friend Maria. “He was all alone in the middle of a field, which is very rare because they are always well guarded by the males. They are the ones who incubate and care for the eggs for 40 days, almost without leaving the nest even to feed. Maria and her children took care of him and now he has grown up and lives in their garden ». Sanguinetti was born in New York in 1968, raised in Buenos Aires and has lived in San Francisco since 2003. At the center of his work, themes such as memory and the delicate moment of the transition of youth. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Magnum agency.
Alessandra Sanguinetti for Vogue Italia in January
Sacred subjects, dead animals, meat… With his provocative works Andres Serrano (1950) tackles social and religious themes. However, in this image of a beehive, the American artist expresses a happy moment. “I like bees. They have a strong work ethic and are very skilled explorers. Some scientists think they have existed for 120 million years, and it is said that where bees go there the human race goes, such is their importance in ecological balance. While shooting, I accidentally moved one of the lights, and in a flash the swarm was gone. The queen bee, however, was locked in the hive, and the beekeeper explained that he would be back… He was right, an hour later all the bees were back there! ».
Andres Serrano for Vogue Italia in January
Among the most talented fashion photographers of his generation, Johnny Dufort was born in Bristol, studied at the College of Fashion and Design in Falmouth, and in 2007 landed in London, where the vibrant world of skateboarding – the same that generated streetwear brands such as Palace and Supreme – attracted his attention. With an almost surrealist vision, the shot of his cover portrays a Belgian Shepherd – a dog breed, he explains, «very interesting. More than anything else they are known as guard dogs, police dogs and attack dogs, I believe mainly because they are intelligent and can be trained very well. The intriguing thing was to show the docile and at the same time wild side of these animals ».
Johnny Dufort for Vogue Italia in January