Worked for Vogue, L'Uomo Vogue, Marie Claire, L'Officiel, Playboy, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Guess, Calvin Klein, Victoria's Secret and Ralph Lauren; an author of photoportraits of Adrien Brody, Benicio Del Toro, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, Antonio Banderas. And now the artist.
Words by Maria Mokina, photo by Landed PR
RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO is one of the world's most influential and talented fashion photographers and contemporary artists, critically acclaimed for his singular eye and his captivating aesthetic. After years spent honing his craft in Italy, France and Amsterdam, his arrival in New York City garnered attention from some of fashion's elite, creating iconic imagery for the likes of Victoria's Secret, Guess Jeans, L'Official, French and Italian Vogue, L'Uomo Vogue, Marie Claire, Playboy, and Vanity Fair, featuring not only his editorial fashion imagery but celebrity portraiture of notable actors including Benicio Del Toro, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, Antonio Banderas, and Elizabeth Banks.
His artistic visual narrative captures the human form set against a backdrop of startling landscapes spanning the continents, from Icelandic glaciers to African wildlife, the outback of Wetsern Australia to Vietnamese rice paddies. He incorporates these documentary forms into building a layered narrative through paint, collage, and hand - lettered texts. The artwork reflects a palimpsest approach of articulation through reinvention. Through these works, we journey alongside Raphael through terrains both geographic and emotional, artistic expression that is evidence of his imprimatur on our culture as a whole.
A two-year tour of exhibitions that travelled the globe, presenting his work to Milan, Florence, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles, Art Basel in Miami, and New York City was met with critical praise. Following the tour, Raphael immediately launched into an artwork and photo essay book collaboration with music impresario, Jimmy Iovine and rap producer P Diddy. Interview Magazine joined with Carolyn Murphy in the summer of 2013 to host an exhibition of his work at his Montauk, Long Island home, adding to recent profiles of him in the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Style Section. Paris Vouge has also featured Raphael several times, commenting that his style 'oozes sensuality and charm'.
Raphael's work is being featured in a month-long exhibition in London's esteemed Castle Fine Art, Mayfair. A native of Vancouver, Canada, Raphael lives in Montauk, with his wife, Lisa, and his son, Sascha.
What I love to do most of all is to go into a situation with a very small group, two or three people. For example, we just went to the Amazon in Brazil with people on a boat, just a girl and I with my assistant. I think this way makes things spontaneous and quick and you get a lot of different pictures and great ideas without having to plan it, just like you go down the stream and don't know where you are going.
I love the Amazon, I am attracted to places that are in the middle of nowhere.
My favourite thing to shoot for yourself would be just photo shoots which are very spontaneous. Here in London I have been shooting different people, for example, I am staying close to a gallery, so I shot on the roof top, looking down at the Lorenzo queen sculpture and I met these two Russian ballerinas so I put them up there with the sculpture and you can see a lot of London in the back, something I never thought I will do and I say at the end of the day "Ooh, my God, that was great".
The most important thing in my career as an artist is to be able to be free. I am a strong believer that without movies, music and art there wouldn't be much for people to do. I think whatever any artist is doing; they should do it for the art of what they love about it. I want my art to be making people feel happy. I don't want to portray any darkness at all.
CULO BY MAZZUCCO was an incredible project made in collaboration with Jimmy Iovine and Diddy*. It is a 248 page collection of colour photographs and art pieces showcasing a diverse group of women—some already legendary, some about to become so—who embody the spirit of culo and the start of a new era of beauty: Nicole Scherzinger, Stacy Keibler, Alessandra Ambrosia, Fergie, Irina Shayk, Kate Upton, Christine Teigen, Lady Gaga, Leeann Tweeden, Pamela Anderson and many more. We spent 2 years doing a shoot all over the world and afterwards, we turned it into art. The book is out now. Diddy served as “executive editor” on this new coffee table book. “Culo” is Spanish for booty, by the way…