Spanish–Croatian photographer and creative director Filip Custic describes his home of Barcelona as a space to play, “using my creativity to communicate the materialisation of my mind.” Filip’s photographs are distinctively his, building what he calls “a vocabulary of objects” that merges installation, photography, video and audio to become sculptural forms.
With a client list boasting the likes of Camper, Vogue, Opening Ceremony and Balmain for H&M, Filip has created a visual language that incorporates surrealism in an altogether contemporary manner. Filip started taking pictures at the age of 14 and describes how it’s the combination of the medium and Photoshop that truly allows him to show what happens in his mind. “Post and pre-production take the most time in my process,” he explains. After finding the objects he needs for a shoot, Filip will then photograph them separately within a set. “Then, finally, play a puzzle with Photoshop to achieve the final result.”
The surrealist element of his portfolio seems clear when Filip describes his references. “I like to get inspired by my dreams,” he explains, “I also learn and get inspired by science, maths, astrology and history.” This perceptive list was clearly utilised in one of Filip’s most recent projects for Spanish fashion brand, Palomo Spain.
“I’ve known Alejandro [Gómez Palomo] for a while now,” Filip tells It’s Nice That. Having shot his first campaign alongside photographer Kito Muñoz as well as a series of other projects, Filip found himself inspired by the concept of “the clue” that resonated across Alejandro’s latest collection. Probably best known for the time Beyonce adorned its garments to show off her newborn twins, Palomo Spain’s work is flamboyant and decadent.
In order to visualise this sense of drama, Filip constructed a game of Cluedo following a murder in a hotel. The series zig-zags through various rooms in the hotel, from a swimming pool to a grand drawing room, rendered with a soft and painterly glaze. “All this, combined with an avant-garde style, somewhat recreates Spanish paintings such as La maja vestida and La maja desnuda from Goya,” Filip describes.
Whether he’s wrapping snakes around the nude bodies of models or making identical twins play chess with candles, Filip’s portfolio is not one you’ll tire of flicking through. His strange yet altogether intriguing imagery creates optical illusions and impossible compositions made possible by his scientific and precise mind.
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