Provocative, beautiful, erotic, weird and wonderful… welcome to the world of Jerome Ferriere! Jerome has been living in Ibiza for many years and has become one of the most well-known artists around. The summer of 2013 was a busy one, with the promotion of his first coffee-table book ‘Ibiza Portraits’ (released in 2012) as well as exhibitions in Galleria Elefante and B12. We sat down with Jerome and over a few drinks managed to get a rare and honest insight into his world! Enjoy…
1.) Your exhibition in B12 gallery is called Animals&Co. Why did you pick that specific theme?
I have been influenced by all I have seen in the 2013 season in Ibiza. The posters, on the internet, t-shirts… animals are everywhere! I don’t know where this fashion comes from, but it inspired me. Maybe it’s about human mutations. Humans don’t want to be animals, but I think they are mutating, in sense of maybe they are losing their humanity. Women become men, men can become women, and they change sex and appearance. Cosmetic surgery is all around us and adding to this phenomenon, we live in a human mutation in the Western world, it’s very interesting.
Some people push cosmetic surgery so much that they don’t look human anymore. They look more like frogs or pigs, with their fish mouths and cat eyes, boobs like cows and bums of baboons… I find all that quite weird and exciting!
2.) Don’t you think using animals in combination with humans and a quite sexual context is a bit too much provocation?
I don’t see it in a way as sex between humans and animals. Animals don’t wear clothes, so I didn’t want my models to wear clothes. I think a woman’s body is attractive, and I put the woman in a natural environment. It’s also women with their pets, or pets with their mistress. I like the sexual aspect in my photography, but really… who wants to fuck a pig?! Especially if the pig doesn’t have a female body. It’s a bit twisted, I don’t know why, hard to explain but it’s just a lot of provocation.
3.) Why do you like provocation so much? Why not take nice pictures of the sunset?
Because sunset is boring. Happens every day. I prefer sunrise… when the lipstick and the mascara have faded.
4.) Everyone who lives on this island has a unique story about how they ended up here. What’s yours?
I fell in love with a woman and fell in love with the Ibiza lifestyle. Which is a lot about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll and I always loved that. I feel I suit the place and the place suits me. It’s not the sea and the beach that make Ibiza, it’s the people.
5.) How do you define your style?
Freestyle. Mixture of portraits and erotic. A good portrait has to be honest. It has to show the strength and fragility of a person. That for me is a good picture.
6.) Where can we find your work in Ibiza?
My book Ibiza Portraits is for sale at many places on the island, including in bookshops and at Sluiz. It’s a compilation of many years of my work, with very interesting characters and stories about the people in Ibiza. Maybe the book is a bit too popular, as it keeps getting stolen everywhere!
My Animals&Co exhibition is on at B12 until the 15th of October 2013. A few places such as La Galeria Elefante and Le Monde (St Gertrudis) and restaurant El Clodenis (St Rafael) permanently feature my work.
7.) What do you consider to be your best portrait ever?
The best picture I’ve ever taken? Well, the most famous and most sold picture is a girl with pierced nipples under a tree. It’s a portrait, and she is not looking in the lens. It’s a mixture of tenderness and sweetness, but at the same time a tough side given by the pierced nipples. My favourite portrait is that of Neil, a tattooist from Ibiza. I really love the lighting and the framing of this shot and the background, as in this case the background tells a lot about the person.
8.) Any tips for aspiring photographers?
Good luck! You need to do things with passion and perseverance. And be ready for a lot of sacrifice. Living on Ibiza means living in a party zone, it’s difficult to keep focused and there are a lot of temptations and distractions. Also, people aren’t always reliable here when it comes to time or appointments, so you basically sacrifice a lot of your time… but if you have the passion and the perseverance you are on the right way.
9.) When we say Ibiza, you say?