When we first came across the work of London-based Spanish visual artist and photographer Maite de Orbe, we were struck by how each photo was beautifully entrenched in a gentle kind of romance. Their precise use of lighting and saturation situates each photograph (regardless of the subject) in a warm, intimate atmosphere. Even when Maite’s work appears erotic, uncanny or editorial – they all have the same distinct warmth. It’s no wonder Maite cites the likes of Pedro Almodóvar, Robert Mapplethorpe and Toni Morrison as artistic influences. “My work is centred around people and their stories,” Maite tells us. “Either if it’s working with performers, with friends or with talents, I seek a collaborative connection that brings character and personal history to the front.”
Mostly, Maite’s work broaches themes of identity and belonging, how relationships and communities are built. Mainly, Maite wants to “subvert ‘representation culture’ in media,” they say. “The result is an amalgam of layered narratives in documentary, fine art and fashion styles that embrace the complexity of life,” they add. What’s left is an erasure of boundaries between fact and fiction, and a focus on co-existence and understanding between bodies.
GalleryMaite de Orbe (Copyright © Maite de Orbe, 2023)
Maite de Orbe (Copyright © Maite de Orbe, 2023)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.