Meet our Artists!
We are pleased to announce two of our featured artists for Dasthe Art Space & Agency’s upcoming November exhibition of Fashion Imagery, opening November 2nd at 19h.
Meet Daniel Bellqvist & William Frank:
Born in Sweden in 1974, Daniel Bellqvist has always been rooted in fashion. His grandfather, a tailor, and his father working in the fashion industry, Daniel began visiting fashion shows at the young age of 10. This fashion inspired upbringing would influence Daniel’s future endeavors, even more than he may have expected.
After a successful run as the singer and songwriter of the Swedish band Eskobar, Daniel entered the fashion world as the official fashion blogger for Elle Sweden before realizing his absolute passion and love for fashion photography. With this new found enthusiasm, Daniel began photographing in the fall of 2014 and has teased our eyes with stunning visuals ever since.
Highly cinematographic and bold, Daniel’s work is reflective of his love for strong women, in control and confident of their sexuality and power. Visually, he is drawn towards the play and contrast between darkness and the potency of color.
Daniel’s projects usually begin with a vision; one that is nourished extensively, potentially consuming the artist for weeks, months or sometimes even years before a photo shoot. However, once this moment arises, Daniel will add and subtract details from his mental image until the potential for visual magnificence reveals itself. Without this potential, the artist feels it futile to continue onwards with the concept.
His work has been published in numerous independent magazines, among them, Design Scene, Rogue Magazine, Huf Magazine etc.
Here is an interview we had with Daniel in hopes of getting to know him and his vision a little more. Enjoy:
Dasthe: You mentioned your fashion inspired upbringing, with your father working in the industry and your grandfather, a tailor. Can you describe your experience in this industry at such a young age?
Daniel: Since my father worked with clothes I was quite a well dressed kid and got interested in fashion very early. One specific memory I have is when I went with my dad to a big fashion expo and we looked at a show and it was quite mesmerizing with the whole catwalk, the strobe lights, heavy rock music and sort of stoic models.
Dasthe: Was there any particular artist, photographer or fashion designer that you were inspired by when you were young?
Daniel: Music was my first love and fashion was just something that I liked for myself to express myself through my clothing and I went through different personal styles in accord with my music taste at the time so I had a long period of hip-hip wear(started out break dancing as a kid) and then grunge in the heyday and then more of an indie pop style.
Later on when fashion and later photography started becoming my new big love I started collecting runway images of designers I liked and it was Balmain(during the Decarnin days), Roberto Cavalli, Alexandre Vauthier, Julien Macdonald etc.
When I started to get interested in fashion photography I got hooked by seeing the work of Mert & Marcus, Txema Yeste, Hunter & Gatti, Chuando & Frey, Steven Kline and they are all the pinnacle of what I LOVE to see in fashion photography.
Dasthe: Who are your biggest inspirations now?
Daniel: Mert & Marcus, Txema Yeste, Hunter & Gatti, Chuando & Frey, Steven Kline
Dasthe: You described your work as reflecting the strength, control and confidence in women. Do you find it easy to capture these attributes in a photograph? What are your biggest struggles?
Daniel: I find it quite easy when the model exudes those attributes because I know I’ll set the stage for that to happen every time but without the right model/attitude from the model it all falls apart.
Not sure I see many struggles as I progress every shoot at a pace I like.
One “struggle” though is to get access to the brands/clothes I feel fit perfectly into “my world”. I feel I have a photographic world where I invite models and clothes and capture them in.
Dasthe: I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of “the shot,” and if a photographer knows in the exact moment that it’s taken, that it is, in fact, “the one.” Personally, do you know the exact moment you’ve captured all that you hoped to?
Daniel: I think I do. I have an unsatisfied tension in my solar plexus until I have “the shot” I’m looking for and after I feel I got it it goes in to a confident warmth and I shoot a few similar frames more just to be sure nothing was off(focus etc) in the one I thought I had.
Dasthe: You mentioned that once you come upon an idea, it may take weeks, months or even years to fully develop before you begin shooting. What exactly are you waiting for? How do you know when you or it is ready?
Daniel: It can be different things I’m waiting for. It can be the weather since we have 4 different seasons here in Stockholm, it can be the right clothes to fit a certain location I want to shoot in or it can be the idea that takes a vision for a shoot to the next level.
Dasthe: In your opinion, what ingredients make for the perfect photo shoot? The location? The energy of the model? The fashion? Or is it something more internal?
Daniel: I’m always looking to make the best images that ever existed, in my view, so all of the above really matter. If the location is 100% but the fashion is 50% it’s not gonna cut it. ALL the elements have to be there to make an image a 10/10 for me.
Dasthe: How do you use lighting, or lack thereof, to your benefit, when shooting?
Daniel: I love strobes and I have 6 of them I think. Sometimes I use 1 or sometimes I use 6 if I want to put different colored lights on different parts of the background etc.
I’m a huge fan of shadows and dark parts in photographs.
Dasthe: Do you have an absolute favorite photograph that you’ve taken? If so, why?
Daniel: I do. And maybe it’s just because it’s from my latest series but the image is exactly what I like in fashion photography. It’s mysterious, has interesting angles and shadow patterns, the model’s attitude is perfect, the 60’s walkie talkie is perfect, the bleeding red color is amazing the way it hits the model and the clohtes. It also reminds me of 50’s/60’s horror/thriller movie posters. It’s a 10/10 for me. You might say I’m quite happy about it, hehe.
Dasthe: Where do you see yourself in five years from now? And how do you see your work evolving? Is there a project you’ve been wishing to see through?
Daniel: In 5 years from now I’ll be even closer to reaching my full potential as a fashion photographer and I’ll be the best I’ve ever been up until that point.
I have no goals except for becoming the best fashion photographer I can be, reaching my full potential and creating the best fashion photographs I’ve ever seen.
I see my vision getting clearer and sharper with every shoot I do and “my world” coming to life exactly the way I want to.
I have a few project ideas in the pipeline and they’ll come to fruition when the time is right.
Dasthe: And finally, if you could describe your work in one word, what would it be?
You can discover more about Daniel on his website: WWW.DANIELBELLQVISTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
After graduating in International Relations in 2012, William studied Filmmaking in London and Photography in Milan. Currently based in Italy, the artist works on fashion and portrait photography while also dabbling in videography. William is the Editor-in-chief of El Pollo Magazine and a member of the photo/video duo, Ragazzi New Paraggi. His work has been published in various fashion and art magazines around the world.
William is particularly interested in the stories behind and within a photograph. Infinite possibilities. Infinite interpretations. The whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” sentiment specifically resonates with the artist as he wants to excite, intrigue and lure in his audience with his visuals, while leaving the field of interpretation, vast, wide and completely open. For William, “Fashion is not just clothes and accessories. Fashion has its own narrative, that can be explored through People.” People are almost the mode of transport through which the stories and feelings of the garments can be told and expressed.
We decided to get to know William a little better with a short interview. Enjoy:
Dasthe: As a child, were you interested in photography or the arts?
William: In middle school I started to become very interested in movies thanks to my sister.
I used to go along with some friends to a cine-club that was screening cinema d’essai.
In the same years I bought a S-VHS camera and I started filming my friends and the life around me almost every day.
Dasthe: Do you remember the moment you picked up your first camera?
William: Since I was originally more into filmmaking, I guess the moment I decided to give photography a hard try was during my trip to New Zealand in 2012, right after I graduated college.
I took my sister’s digital reflex with me and when I got back home I was completely fascinated by the results, especially with what you could achieve with such a small camera.
Dasthe: You have mentioned that you graduated in International Relations before studying photography and filmmaking. Can you explain this jump? Has studying international relations influenced, helped (or hurt) your photography practice in any way?
William: When I started shooting photos I had the dream to become a photo journalist so that was kind of aligned with my previous studies. Only after a couple of years I understood that, in a way, I liked more fiction than reality. Well, as I said before I have always been into arts. I was doing university mostly for my family, and growing up in Southern Italy there weren’t many opportunities if someone wanted to study photography.
Dasthe: Who and what are your biggest inspirations now?
William: I can define myself as a great observer. I use my senses a lot. I find inspirations everyday just by feeling people, places, colours, sounds and smells around me.
Dasthe: Can you describe your idea process, in brief? Where do your ideas come from?
William: Teamwork is essential in fashion photography. Often my creative process starts with an exchange of ideas with the stylist. We build up a mood-board together and we get it done, one step at the time.
Dasthe: You arrive on the set of your photo shoot. What is the first thing you do?
William: Say sorry to everyone because I’m late.
Dasthe: You mentioned your interest in the potential narratives a photograph can contain. What are some stories you have created for your photographs? And do you create the stories before or after photograph is taken?
William: I do prefer to create sensations rather than linear stories. Feelings and moods that I process before the shooting.
Dasthe: What was your favorite photo shoot, to date? And why?
William: Hard to tell! I guess my favourite one might be the photo shoot I did in a pastry shop for a designer’s collection. The team did a great job and I loved the colours I came up with.
Dasthe: What have been the biggest struggles so far? Biggest successes?
William: Fashion is a very competitive world and you have to fight hard to get to the top.
My biggest success is to understand that after only few years, if you play your game good, you can achieve great results because it’s a world that constantly need a fresh and innovative vision. Especially from people who are not yet stuck in the fashion system’s stagnation.
Dasthe: What would you say is your photographic vision, as a whole?
William: I wish I had a biographer ready to answer this question. I like my photographs to raise questions, to be open to different interpretations. That’s why I tend to be ironically surreal and enigmatic in my vision.
Dasthe: Where do you see yourself in five years from now? Is there something new you would like to experiment with?
William: I see myself in a Versace’s robe and slippers in my house in LA sipping Martinis. Of course. I am buying tons of analog cameras at the moment, so I’m experimenting with that and switching almost entirely from digital to analog photography.
Dasthe: And finally, if you could describe your work in one word, what would it be?
[German word that means “total field” and it refers to a series of stimuli that creates sensory deprivation].
You can discover more about William on his website: