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.

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4 Responses to “The Best of Volt so far…”

  1. I wish they published more than twice yearly, I am seriously obsessed with Volt. The passion behind it really does show through!!

    What a lovely interview 🙂 How crazy to think that something as simple as a movie could inspire him to take this path in life. I love the way he looks at photography – to “create a world that doesn’t exist” – how magical! And I am so glad to see that he views his work as a thing of love rather than just jobs. It’s weird how genuine he comes across in a written interview lol.

    Volt really is SO stunning. I keep all of my magazine and fashion publications for reference anyhow, and although I only have one issue of Volt, it is actually one of my most treasured!

  2. Dapper Kid: I’m so glad you too think of Volt as a super object of beauty and treasure, it really is. And Rui really is so genuine, he is such a great person, passionate and modest. I hope this article & interview will make people want to discover the magazine. And you should definitely pop in for a quick look of the exhibition!

  3. I haven’t yet laid eyes (nonetheless flipped through!) a copy of Volt! ): After seeing this article, however, I do intend on getting my hands on a copy (: if tangible, of course.

    [I’m actually on Volt Magazine’s website right now, and reading that lovely interview!]

    Did I ever mention that I’m obsessed with your blog?! Haha (:

    bisous!
    La C.

  4. La C.: Oh thanks Sweetie! I know, once you’ve seen the pictures, you desperately want to own a copy of the mag, it’s like a small treasure, and it’s all about having it in print in your hands eventually.. bisous!

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