Agnieszka Chabros is a fine art photographer and casting director based in Melbourne. With an impressive roster of clients that includes Novembre, i-D and Vice UK, this highly-commissionable photographer was recently employed by Vogue Italia to photograph a series called Cowboys for the famous fashion magazine.
With the tagline: “Even cowboys get the blues”, the shoot focuses around the model, Zach, who is represented by the photographer’s own casting agency, People Agency. The title is inspired by the 1976 novel by Tom Robbins of the same title which follows the journey of Sissy Hankshaw, a woman born with unusually large thumbs but considers this genetic mutation a gift rather than a fallback.
In a similar vein, the photoshoot centres around Zach, a model with alopecia who views the condition positively rather than negatively. The photographer tells It’s Nice That, “I’ve wanted to work with Zach for some time. He’s an amazing, unique model and we were looking for the right project to do something with him and this editorial seemed like a perfect match.” By comparison, the shoot explores juxtapositions through the cowboy-centric fashion and its contrasting urban environment. The clash of eras compliments Zach’s unique looks and emulates a sense of alienation through his striking character; fashion and looks-wise.
The shoot is accompanied by a passage: “He arrives, wide-eyed. Nothing is as he imagined. Neon signs flat. Fields of concrete. Mobile phones seem as if they are almost an extension of the body. Crowds. Filth. Strangers glare or, worse, shuffle forward almost unconsciously. Too far from home. He has the blues. Even cowboys get the blues.”
The estranged and detached atmosphere aroused by the poem’s lexis and abrupt punctuation is reflected visually through the starkly-lit series. The incongruity of the cowboy hat is the focal point to the shoot. In one image, Agnieszka draws out the beige-ness of a tan Carhartt jacket against a stock image of many, many loaves of bread plastered across a supermarket window. It is a testament to Agnieszka’s photographic eye which utilises visual cues, resulting in photographs that show a delicate visual balance between Zach and his environment.
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