The Best of Volt so far…
I had the privilege of meeting Rui Faria, who runs fashion magazine Volt and agency Areia, in his studio in Holborn, for an interview for FTape here. We discussed his exceptional career, his views on the fashion industry and the exciting new exhibition ‘The Best of Volt so far…’ which features a selection of the most beautiful photographs taken from the magazine.
As we start the interview, I am amazed at how genuine and friendly Rui is. It might sound like an obvious thing, but it isn’t in the fashion industry. He almost apologises to me for not being dressed chic enough. He might be dressed in a casual way – jeans and a brown sweater – but doesn’t lack elegance and charisma. He explains to me that he is “probably the least fashionable person” I will ever meet, and “not a fashion-victim” and describes himself as a “romantic and idealist”.
“My thing is that I don’t become what I do, I do what I do.” And one thing is for sure: he does it well, with Volt being truly at the avant-garde of fashion photography at the moment, both in form and substance.
Indeed, a broadsheet format allows the magazine to put the emphasis on the artistic value of the imagery since “each image is supposed to be a poster, so you can frame it”. On the other hand, the focus is on the quality of the contents: “I thought, as a photographer, how would I want to do a magazine? So I stripped away all the unnecessary stuff, because this is a visual magazine with about 2 or 3 pages of text, but all the text is relevant: we feature an artist, a fashion designer or a singer.”
Rui tells me about his incredible career, from when he left his native Portugal at the age of seventeen to try his luck as a rock star in London, and then study photography in New York, where he worked as a photographer’s assistant for four years. He thinks that “it’s all about passion and dedication”, and even today, regardless of how successful he is, he works hands-on late everyday and even comes to the office at weekends if he needs to. “But because I enjoy doing what I’m doing, because I’m driven, I’m passionate, I don’t mind. I don’t see it as a job.”
An admirer of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, his references, Rui tells me he’s inspired by “People. People in general. Beauty in general. Architecture. Talented people.” And his last word of wisdom for the creative spirits looking for success: “You have to take risks, that’s what life is about, what makes you feel alive. You can’t play it safe, you have to be adventurous.”
An exhibition featuring some of the best imagery from the magazine is currently on at Exposure Gallery until 1st July. And judging by the crowd who came to celebrate the opening of ‘The Best of Volt so far…’ organised by the FTape crew, there is no doubt that the industry appreciates Rui’s work and the Volt revolution. I don’t know if it was because of the tequila-charged ThunderVolt cocktails prepared by the Exposure team, but I heard that I wouldn’t be the only one to get this gorgeous black and white portrait of Daisy Lowe framed in my living-room.
Read the whole interview with Rui Faria on FTape here.