Jonathan Icher is a French photographer based in Paris and he is renowned for his high aesthetics and the mingling of pop art with modernism. He seductively aligns beauty with abnormality and eccentricity, while questioning sexuality and desire at the same time. Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words, but Jonathan proves to be as interesting and mysterious as his pictures. Time to find out and indulge in his world.
How would you describe yourself?
Hey, I’m Jonathan Icher and I’m a French photographer based in Paris!
Your work is very distinctive and is renowned for its high aesthetics. As a viewer we like to discover the mingling of pop art with modernism. How would you describe your work?
I just call myself a photographer, but I also describe myself as an “image creator”. I love to create some incredible moments and creatures that you can’t see in real life.
How did your career start and when did you decide to become a photographer?
I’ve studied on an applied art school specialiced in fashion. I started making fashion visuals in this context. At the same time I begun to learn post production cause I wanted to be able to create numerically everything I imagined.
You have collaborated with many top brands and magazines, while at the same time you have worked as an artistic director for several music videos. What do you enjoy most doing?
Music and images are my favorite things ! The music video you can see on my website are actually my own music. I did music since 2009 under the pseudonym “Queen Mimosa 3”. Making a music video is the perfect mix of my two passions but in the same time it’s the hardest thing to do, it takes so much time!
What was the message behind the “Send Nudes” series where you depicted models with organs on display?
SEND NUDES is a series born from a reflection on current social media networks. Nowadays, through filters and apps, everyone has the possibility to control their image modelled from their icons. We can, in a few steps, remodel and enhance the image of our body to match the current criteria of beauty and desire. Many sex symbols emerge online, blurring the frontier between ordinary and inaccessible. Even though most of the new social media networks do not tolerate nudity, sharing intimate pictures has become a new norm . Anyone can become a virtual object of desire as legitimate as a professional.
Throughout these six visuals, the series SEND NUDES explores this notion of intimacy, questioned by today’s lifestyle. Models with perfect figures pose naked and offer a new degree of intimacy.
How to still arouse desire when our eyes, blasé, have had their fills of erotica? Their smooth and perfected organs offered on display without reserve. Sometimes in excessive proportions they try to provoke our envy, similar to the generous curves exciting the crowds. Soulless, the body, exposed, seem to await our judgment. Is beauty only skin deep ?
-Do you like to align beauty with abnormality and eccentricity?
I love to create a confusion between my models and the way I will post produce them. That’s why for example, I love to work with porn actors, who are supposed to represent a “sexual ideal”. The final picture is in the same time, equally sexy and disturbing. I m happy with myself if I can make you horny and uncomfortable in the same time, aha!
How does sexuality affect your work?
Sex and sexuality are very important for me. Our bodies are a really cool way to have so much pleasure. That’s why sexuality is very present on my work. And the digital manipulations I do are a good way to question sexuality and desire.
How does LGBTQ+ culture influence you?
I love LGBTQ+ culture especialy on music cause the artists are so free and inventive. At the moment I really love Dorian Electra who is so inspiring. As a teenager, I was looking for this kind of artist to feel represented. I’m so glad there is more and more queer artists now!
What is your creative process?
Most of the time I wait for my ideas to come by themselves ! It can be because of a movie, a music, an exhibition, or sometimes just an object I see. Sometimes I started with the model I wanted to shoot and I thought about a direction artistic who could work with our both universes. When it’s for brand the process is really different, they give me their directives and I try to put some creation on it!
What do enjoy photographing and how is the ideal model for you?
I m really into photographing bodies. It’s really easy to shoot “universal” beauty and sexy models and I did it a lot. It went with what I wanted to explore and represent. Now I would like to create with alternative beauties. But this is subjective too!
Who are your inspirations and the people you admire?
Most of the people I really love are Musicians. Specially those who developed a real universe around their music. In France we have a lot of singer who look like your neighbour, so the audience can identify themselves… Really boring. I m more into artists like Björk, Peaches…
Sexiness or weirdness?
Both in the same time ! There is a really cool spanish director who mix both really well. Eduardo Casanova.
What is sexy for you? What turns you on?
A lot of things can be sexy for me. Not specifically the things I represent on my pictures. My desires evolved very regularly. It can be because of people I meet, people I have a crush on.
I don’t really have a type of guy. Sometimes the personality and the attitude of one guy can create a new desire for me.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
No pleasure should be guilty. So I will give you some of my secret pleasures. Video games, Nipples and My Little Pony.
What makes scream YASS?
How was working with Francois Sagat?
So cool! I really like him! We met in 2015 for my series “Passe Muraille”, then stay in contact and became more and more friends. I really wanted to work with him cause he is so iconic and that works a lot with my process around bodies representations.
What is the first thing you intend to do when the quarantine is all over?
Sex of course !!! Well, to be honsest I will go to see my family and besties first ❤
More of Jonathan Icher here:
*all images are courtesy of Jonathank Icher.