Strange Fascination

Formento + Formento Invite us to Consider Voyuerism and Misfortunes in their Latest Project

For “Strange Fascination” we wanted to create luscious images that explored the ideas of misfortunes, tragedies, and survival,’ Bj Formento of fashion photography duo, Formento + Formento told us about their hard-hitting latest project.

The project focuses on misfortune, albeit in the most stylish of ways: from the everyday mundane mishaps, to the more dramatic and truly newsworthy accidents. Then there is the accident of the heart: stabbings, beatings, murder and suicides-planned or by impulse.

‘There is a sense in which the very presence of a “primary audience” seems to absolve us of our voyeurism. They liberate us from our shame. We get to look, because others looked first.’

The pair are currently planning a book, and a world tour to accompany the work. We managed to catch up with them before things got too bussy.

The Plus: How do you want the audience to feel from looking at these images?
Bj Formento:
I want to show our audience what they don’t know. To quote Whitney Otto:
If the photographer isn’t going to pay attention to the picture he is making, that if he thinks the camera is just a machine and not an avenue of expression, then he has no business asking anyone for anything, let alone their time and interest. Don’t show the world, he said, invent the world.

TP: The models seem quite high fashion although it is such a gritty subject.
The fashion is a sure dead giveaway that Richeille and I have a background in the industry. We constantly strive to reach that balance between art and commerce. For our personal work, we want to see the beauty in people and allow other people to seize the objects of their love.

TP: What have you got in the works?
We are deep into pre production on one of our hardest projects to date: India for 5 weeks starting in February 2015, from Mumbai to Rajasthan to Varanasi and Delhi. I say it is challenging because we have not been there before and really don’t know what to expect. As you know we thrive on staging our tableaux on location and well, India is going to be frantic! Wish us luck!

Photos: Formento & Formento
Make Up: Deanna Nickel
Assistants: Gabo Mendoza & Gerardo Mendez
Clothing Supplied by: Brent Edward Vintage, Butch Wax Vintage
Kimbomba Productions

Paragon Models Mexico City
Erin Wagner
Rebecca Lawson
Nikoll Suset Reynoso
Elizabeth Valdez
Cecilia Delgadillo
Matadors: Michel and Jusef