Beautiful People

Challenging Etiquette

Sølve Sundsbø talks to Beauty Papers about the inspiration we find in the everyday, approaching life with optimism and an urge to create.

Photography ANNE VESAAS

Beauty Papers: Your work can be futuristic and hyper graphic. Where does this stem from?
Sølve Sundsbø: It’s funny, I always think of my work as very romantic. I can see why people identify my work with what you are saying, but I think that’s only an element of it.
I guess it’s an inherent optimism in futurism and an appreciation of simplicity in the graphic elements. But I think overall my work searches in different directions all the time. At least I hope so.

BP: Does technology inspire you?
SS: Everything inspires me: history, science, people laughing, a reflected traffic light, the wind in the trees, my children’s breathing as they are sleeping. I could go on…

BP: What is your favourite part of image making?
SS: The actual picture taking; the realisation of an idea.

BP: Who did you start out with and what are they doing now?
SS: I came to London in 1994 and met so many inspiring people. I absolutely loved it. I still work with so many of them and call them my friends.

BP: Are you cynical or optimistic?
SS: Optimistic.

BP: It sounds like you have a muse that keeps intriguing you, or compels you to create?
SS: I just have an urge to create.

BP: Did you go to college?
SS: First university, then college for a very short while, then I assisted.

BP: What did your mum and dad want you to be when you grew up?
SS: Happy.

BP: What drew you to London as opposed to Paris or New York?
SS: London has more tomorrows than Paris and more yesterdays than New York.

BP: Tell me one of your favourite pictures ever – one of yours or someone else’s?
SS: There are too many to mention. I am not very good at making lists.

What does etiquette mean to you?
SS: To me etiquette is something to challenge.

Images from Beauty Papers Issue Four Etiquette available here
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