THE KURATOR: You’ve always wanted to be a photographer ever since you were a child. What made you so driven?
THE KURATOR NAWAL AMHARECH: I always wanted to be in the visual arts field. Starting with cinema, from acting to directing, I simply knew that I wanted to be behind the camera. I felt photography was like a revelation to me. The cinema of the 1950s, the black and white movies, they inspired me as a child and I remember spending hours in libraries looking at portraits of Hollywood icons such as Lana Turner, Clark Gable, and so on.
You studied archeology and Egyptology, very academic pursuits. What made you branch away into a creative role?
I loved studying and living in Paris and I loved the Louvre. One of my all time passions was egyptology, so I decided to get closer to what I love by studying it at L’Ecole du Louvre, even if photography was still very much a part of me.
What role does Morocco and your home city of Casablanca play in your art?
Casablanca has this incredible architectural, urban and cultural energy that makes us feel as if it’s a hub for creativity and creative people. As far as I can remember, art has always existed in my family and especially in Casablanca. Our family art businesses are mostly in Casablanca. If I may say, the role was to provide me with this modern energy and leitmotiv. Aesthetically it’s very interesting and challenging too, and that’s why I love this city.
Once you decide to photograph something or someone you only ever take a single photo. Can you talk to us about your technique and the way you work?
I experiment with photography like we do in cinema. I choose my theme, I dream it, I realise it down to the smallest details. In my work the lighting is essential, and I try to never retouch any of my pictures after the studio shoot. My studio is my sanctuary. I am absolutely technical and spiritual at the same time. I always try to combine both, then when I feel it’s ready, I capture the moment!
It’s still in processing, but I might move to Dubai or spend more time there in 2024 in order to open a studio. I already -collaborated with a lot of Emirati and foreign art studios, as well as titles based in Dubai.
Can you tell us about your upcoming project in Dubai?
Your themes are often about nature, but you are no stranger to fashion shoots. What brands have you worked with in luxury fashion?
Balenciaga, Fendi, Givenchy, and many more, as well as Moroccan brands among others.
Which countries would you still love to visit and photograph in?
Japan is definitely a country I want to visit and photograph! Then St. Petersburg, and Los Angeles too for other sentimental reasons, as Hollywood movies and movie stars were my first inspirations as a kid.
Can you tell us about your choice of camera and why you choose your equipment?
Hasselblad! I also shoot with a Sony and macro 100mm and Zeiss 50mm lenses. The Nikon D800 is still in my heart because I started my first art exhibitions using it.