“My photography is an anthropological study of style that explores themes of individualism, shared identity and sexual politics,” says London-based photographer Sam Bayliss Ibram tells us by way of introduction. A longtime collaborator with stylist Jayson Hindley and designer Nasir Mazhar, Sam’s work sits at the heart of the club scene which trickles down the walls of London’s steamiest basement venues.
“Street casting is an integral part of my process, be it close friends, freaks I meet at the club or exploring Instagram,” Sam tells us. Describing his work as “heavily influenced by club culture”, it’s no surprise that most of his subjects are spunky left-field musicians, among them Bala Club’s blue haired founder Kamixlo, Warp-signed R&B singer Kelela, queer rapper Princess Nokia and GHE20G0THIK founder DJ Venus X. Despite his unconventional subjects, Sam traces his creative background back to more traditional origins. “I have been drawn to portraiture since I was a child,” he admits. “My grandfather is a painter and encouraged me to pursue the arts.” His own work, Sam says, can be considered “an autobiographical reflection consisting of utopian imagery and my personal relationships that exist in a space simultaneously intimate and artificial.”
Lately, Sam tells us that he’s been busy work on a whole host of projects, among them an “18-page collaboration with Curtly Thomas and Nasir Mazhar for 10Men magazine, Wonderland magazine’s September issue cover with Neelam Gill and art directing Nazifa Begum’s SS17 collection OUMMRA.” As for personal projects, there’s Sue Nam which Sam describes as “a zine documenting a summer in Vietnam and portraits of Hackney’s Vietnamese community."