During his childhood in Mexico, Rafael Martinez became fascinated by the role of photography in fossilizing our histories. He has been carrying around a disposable camera everywhere in order to do this; but what he’s really been doing is creating his own narrative, where his ‘girls’ are actresses playing out a scene. Martinez has already been commissioned by Vice and Nylon Mexico to create these stories; Images which exude sex, but also retain a playful naivety that is really compelling. Here Dazed Digital finds out a bit about the ideas behind his work.
It’s about who will be the perfect complement for the photo, sometimes I create stories in my head that fit with a girl I barely know. I never think of someone because they’re sexy; I look for someone with a strong presence who complements the story I’m trying to project
Dazed Digital: Your blog is called 'girls girls girls' why are all your images of girls?
Rafael Martinez: I didn’t initially intend to call it girls girls girls it just ended up being that. I started working with my female friends and it really enjoyed doing that but I’m exploring new things now. I take my camera everywhere and shoot different kind of objects; whatever I think is beautiful but not necessarily attractive for other people’s eyes.
DD: Is it just about finding someone sexy?
Rafael Martinez: No it’s not, It’s about who will be the perfect complement for the photo, sometimes I create stories in my head that fit with a girl I barely know. I never think of someone because they’re sexy; I look for someone with a strong presence who complements the story I’m trying to project.
DD: It is unusual for a photographer of women not to take nude portraits. Why have you decided to avoid this?
Rafael Martinez: The thing is that I’m actually looking forward to do a series of nude photographs with girls and/or boys and to explore a new side of photography. I don’t want to be defined as someone who only takes pictures of girls. All I want to do is create, explore and learn.
DD: New plans and projects?
Rafael Martinez: I'm working on a zine about youth, sex and love I'm looking for writers, photographers, illustrators, musicians all over the world that project something in a real and honest way. I don't want any labels like "this is for men or woman" I want this to be for everbody. I’m trying to promote open mindedness about sexuality, race and religion, so hopefully this will come through in the finished zine.