The girl is sitting on a stool wearing a tie dye shirt, and she’s thinking about symmetry out loud. This speech is punctuated by footage of discreet faces and hand details. It is March 2012, and Maciek Pozoga has just finished one of the best lookbooks of the summer promotion for the French brand April 77.
For the past few years, it has become more and more difficult not to notice this young French artistic director’s work. Born in Bordeaux, where he began to shoot skate videos, he went to the Beaux Arts focusing on painting, before moving to Paris to study cinema. That’s where he came to photography and started working with Vice Magazine.
He widened his palette since, and signed editorials or covers for several other main magazines like Pig, French GQ, Teknikart, and The New York Times Magazine. Scrolling down his tumblr is like receiving waves of energy and rawness full in the face. He shows an unbelievable ability to capture movement, even the slightest one.
The spontaneity Maciek is looking for in his photos leads him to often shoot people or scenes he is involved in. But the same kind of feeling—a true trademark—is emerging from his commissioned works for brands or press. “You have to work on it differently, before shooting, like, for a movie,” he explains. He likes to talk about a “perforated logic” coming out from all his works.
As a true documentary enthusiast—especially Jean Rouch‘s ones—he likes to catch what is happening right here, right now. “I’m interested in the ‘real’, in the different ways you can deal with it, but the starting point is always a documentary approach, almost a naturalist one. I like what is alive, what exists,” he adds.
This last point leads him not to choose “conventional” beauty, but to be more sensible to models or subjects with peculiar faces. A weak spot shared with Ryan McGinley, as the movement they both like to capture in their photos. Talking about influences, Maciek drops many names from different universes: “Richard Linklater, Alain Bombard, Thor Heyerdahl, David Hockney, Robert Crumb, Werner Herzog, Levi-Strauss, Francois Villon, Robert Bresson, Hemingway, Munch, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeremy Deller, Leonard Cohen, Herge.” He quickly specifies, “I always discover new ones. When you spend your time to ‘figure out’ who you are, you are happy to be touched by a book or painting.”
His last main project illustrates it: the blue fanzine published in limited edition by the French collective JSBJ, called “Naufrage Volontaire” and inspired by Dr. Bombard, a biologist who assured that you can survive out at sea without any provision. He proved it by trying it out himself at the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a “Naufrage Volontaire”. He claimed it to the whole world with a book. From this experience, Maciek built a piece of poetry about loneliness and the sea.
No need to say how we look forward to seeing his next project.