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All images by Florian Joahn

Work / Photography

Florian Joahn’s photographs bridge the erotic and surreal

Fashion photographer Florian Joahn grew up in a remote industrial small town in east Germany. Somewhere in between starting off as graphic designer, moving to Ghana where he worked as a teacher for deaf children, before embarking on a five year art education in Amsterdam to become an installation artist, Florian learnt that fashion photography was his calling. It was a decision that sent him packing his suitcases once again, this time to relocate to London. “Photography is the medium I move the most naturally in and find it the easiest to express myself,” he says. “I have a high respect for fashion design and love the craftsmanship of it, but I also realised that fashion comes to live when you put it in a context, if it is on a person on the street or a model in front of the camera. Those are the moments I am interested in.”

Florian’s work is marked by its erotic, provocative and surreal elements, solidified by the photographer’s attention to detail which can be seen in his excellent website. Despite shooting digitally, Florian heralds something increasingly rare: a cautious approach in a swiftly-paced scene in which images are generated and replicated at ever-increasing speeds. “The amount of images that gets produced nowadays should make us cautious of the content we put out,” Florian says. “I dont think everything has to be original but I try to push forward and build upon the oeuvre of other photographers. I speak about topics which are still taboo and I am inspired by social constructs which manifest themselves in our identity. Sexuality, race and political protest are themes that circle around my work. I am still not sure if that is part of my identity or if it is because of the people and political climate I am surrounded with.”

On that note, Florian tells us that a “huge inspiration” is his partner Jean Paul Paula who he often works with. “His outspoken attitude and refusal to shut up social issues is something I admire and since my personality does not allow me to measure with it I try to make our work speak in the same volume he does.”

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