10 QUESTIONS WITH HARIS NUKEM AHEAD OF 'FAITH' AT MADDOX GALLERY
“Away from religion, where are we putting our faith?”
This week, I sat down to catch up with Bosnian-born, London-based photographer, Haris Nukem, ahead of Faith, his immersive solo show at Maddox Gallery. Rich in powerful symbolism, Nukem’s eye-catching body of work explores poignant 21st century belief systems, combining themes of hedonism, romanticism, materialism, morality, social media and more in the form of 21 large-scale works.
1.) Good morning Haris, welcome to The Mayfair Musings! When did you first discover your passion for photography?
Thank you for having me. My passion for photography was really born out of necessity. I had this little brand I’d started with a friend of mine and we had to take photos of our garments. It was in this little medley that I picked up a camera and had instantly fell in love with taking pictures.
2.) Can you tell us a little about Faith, your upcoming exhibition at Maddox Gallery?
Faith is my foray into 21st century belief systems. Away from religion, where are we putting our faith? The world is changing socially; we’re interconnected, we’re hyper informed, we’re under-informed on what we’re informed on and we’re really, really targeted on social media. It’s causing divisions and unions of all sorts. This show looks at these ideas and the balance between them.
3.) What draws you and your camera to the subject of modern culture?
For sure, living in it. We exist in such polarising times which makes for an irresistible world to observe.
4.) What do you look for in a potential new muse?
The majority of the folks I work with are friends I’ve made over the past few years as a photographer. All of them contribute unique qualities that are often captured in my photos. The relationships I form with these amazing people has for sure shaped my vision.
5.) Which artists (past or present) have inspired you and influenced your creative practice so far?
Influence is an interesting word. Although I’m a fan of many artists dead and alive, it’s in the works of the old school Renaissance artists that I probably find the most influential. I like the idea of blending the grittiness and vibrancy of our current culture with allegory, storytelling and compositions not too dissimilar to Renaissance works.
6.) Are there any special meanings you'd like people to derive from the 21 large-scale works on show during Faith?
I like the idea of opening up a dialogue. The conversations we have open our minds to new perspectives and allow us to decide on things, rather than the targeted bits of information that are thrown at us every day. If anything, this show probably promotes balance. There’s an optimistic undertone in there.
7.) You've worked with music artists and record labels, can you tell us a little about this?
Quite early on in my photography career I actually took a role in a record label as a consulting creative director. It was a vibe and accidentally, there onwards, loads of musicians and labels would holler at me to shoot their stuff.
8.) Do you have a favourite film to shoot on?
All of my work is shot digitally.
9.) Are there any photography campaigns you've worked on that are particularly memorable?
I’m particularly in love with shooting for Defected Record’s disco arm, Glitterbox. Simon, their founder is probably the loveliest fella I’ve had the chance to work with and regardless of how mental my ideas are he’s always keen to support them into existence.
10.) When you're not busy working, where can you be found?
Often I find myself traipsing Mayfair looking at what all of the lovely galleries have to offer.
Maddox Gallery is a contemporary art destination dedicated to supporting and showcasing the work of blue-chip, established and emerging artists from across the globe. Established in 2015, the beautiful 3750 square foot Victorian townhouse is located on Maddox Street in the heart of Mayfair. Three more West London-based galleries have since opened, with one situated in Westbourne Grove and two in Shepherd Market. Internationally, the Maddox Gallery Group has galleries in Gstaad, Switzerland and Los Angeles.
Faith will be on show from 6th – 27th September 2019 Visit: Maddox Gallery, 9 Maddox Street, W1S 2QE