Vee Speers, an Australian artist, has lived and worked in Paris since 1990. After moving to Paris from Sydney, she began exhibiting her first series Bordello , followed by Parisians, The Birthday Party, Immortal, Thirteen and most recently Bulletproof, engaging viewers with the dramatic tension of her portraits and her unique pallet of colour.
Speers has exhibited in London, Paris, Miami, NYC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, China, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Sweden, Norway and the United States, and her work has been published on the covers of Fotomagazin Germany, Zoom, Public Art, Photo International, Images Magazine, A Conceptual Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, The Sunday Times UK, Russian Photo and Video, Swedish Photo with features in Zoom, Art Investor, Germany, Shots UK, Photo District News NYC, Photographica Tokyo, EYEMAZING, American Black + White, Milk, Fotomagazin, Chinese Photography, Reponses Photo, French Photo, Bloom, Arte Al Limite, etc.
Her books ‘Bordello’ and ‘The Birthday Party’ are available worldwide.
AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? I’ve always thought photography was magical as my father had his own darkroom. When I went to art school, I realized that the instant way of capturing an image suited my impatient personality.
AAP: Where did you study photography? QCA, Brisbane, Australia
AAP:Do you have a mentor or role model? Not really. I don’t like to follow.
AAP: What or who inspires you? The cinema is a constant source of inspiration. A story is told, and the way it is filmed can transport you to another time or place. Still images can be the same.
AAP: How could you describe your style? Playful, beautiful, strange, melancholic, obvious and unexpected.
AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? The Birthday Party and Bulletproof This is two series photographed 6 years apart using the same children.
AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Polaroid film and medium format cameras.
AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose? No, I know right away when I’ve taken a good shot. Or if I haven’t.
AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? Know what you want and don’t be distracted from your goal. Don’t listen to what anybody else says.
AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? Accepting to shoot anything that will compromise his or her personal journey.
AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? Don’t be afraid.
AAP: What are your projects? Portraits, portraits and more portraits.
AAP: Your best memory as a photographer? There are so many. Every time I take a great image, I feel so excited, like everything has lined up perfectly. These are the best memories.
AAP:The compliment that touched you most? A woman once told me that my work had changed her life.
AAP:If you were someone else who would it be? Diane Arbus, with all those wonderful and strange people to photograph.
AAP: Your favorite photo book? Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
AAP: Anything else you would like to share? Always be kind. You can change the world, one smile at a time.
For the past fifteen years, Vee Speers has been based in Paris, working in fashion, photojournalism, and fine art photography. Widely exhibited throughout Europe, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Australia, her work has also been seen in publications including The Sunday Times, Harpers+Queen, GQ, Arena, and Esquire Susan Bright is an independent curator and writer on photography. Author of the highly successful book 'Art Photography Now' (Thames & Hudson, 2006), she has worked with the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain. Recent curatorial projects include Face of Fashion for the National Portrait Gallery, London, and 'How We Are: Photographing Britain' (co-curated with Val Williams) for Tate Britain, London.
Bordello is pure seduction. The images presented by internationally renowned photographer Vee Speers are inspired by the 1920s - an era of extravagant life style and sexual decadence. Shot in French bordellos, perfectly orchestrated and artistically adapted, the photographs take the viewer into the world of temptation - erotic, lascivious, and nostalgically arranged. Music CDs: French chansons, by Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Yves Montand, Lucienne Boyer, Damia, and Frehel musically emphasize this electrifying world of images. She shows beauty where beauty can be terribly absent. Karl Lagerfeld.