Wenn Kostis Menschen fotografiert oder – wie er es sagt – Körper durch die Linse erforscht, dann hat er meist schon eine Bindung zur Person. Er sucht nicht die pure Schönheit, er interessiert sich für das Wesen. Und deshalb verbringt er vor dem Shoot selbst schon Zeit mit dem Model – damit sich die Person und er selbst am Set wohlfühlen.
Each person has something unique to offer and this is exactly what I focus on: their uniqueness. I see their body and start exploring it through my lens.
Seine Arbeiten leben von Körperlichkeit und Nacktheit – die Zensur ist sein Gegner. Doch genau das Tabu ermutigt ihn und führt zur Ideologie, die hinter seiner Kunst steckt. Demzufolge sehen wir viel Haut, Nippel und Härchen; das finden wir sehr erfrischend.
Do you have any favorite body parts you always have to take pictures of?
The human body, in general, is one of the biggest inspirations for me. Men’s legs are definitely one of my favorite parts in a man’s body. I also like to photograph the hidden body parts, let’s say forbidden parts. Like genitals, butt, boobs …
Do you prefer shooting with friends or strangers?
I am interested in photographing people who are liberated and stripped off taboos when it comes to nudity. I started to take pictures of myself five years ago, then I took a few of my friends and now I am also collaborating with other people. Every experience is different but I feel the exact same desire and pleasure in any collab.
I do not cast models based on their beauty but more on their character and the connection I have with them. Before the actual shoot takes place, I spend time with my models – to get closer, to discuss and to make them feel at home. Each person has something unique to offer and this is exactly what I focus on: their uniqueness. I see their body and start exploring it through my lens.
Your work often shows abstract and provocative content. What is your message?
Through my work I am trying to communicate, I am not just taking pictures. I want people to relate to me. I definitely cause some questions, but it is up to each individual beholder to come up with their own conclusions about what they see and feel. Through my photos, I wish to present a new take on the human body and explore its infinite capabilities. With the use of quirky and hidden faces, I intensify that. Unlike photography that seeks to reveal the feelings of the objects through the use of faces and expressions, I shift my focus to the complete freedom pertained by the image of the human body, stripped from its clothes, leaving it fully exposed and completely surrendered.
Do censorship guidelines (such as Instagram’s) affect your work?
Yes, sure. Instagram doesn’t help to present my work to the whole extent. You can only find a small part of what I am doing and this affects my work for sure. The picture is not clear. It’s limited. A big part of my work is based on naked bodies. Nipples and genitals have a leading role in my photographs and that is pretty much my ideology behind what I do.
I’m pretty sure that Instagram isn’t the right platform to explore my work and definitely not my favorite one.
What’s the most inspirational place for you?
I started photography back in 2013 when I moved from Athens to the island of Crete. It was the driving force that prompted me to start photography. The place gave me great inspirations, the time and energy to create my own personal work. Big cities like London and Berlin are accessible in terms of availability. Its much easier find people to collaborate with. I’m the kind of artist who needs to get deep inside myself to be able to create.