Art student and self-confessed internet troll Karim Boumjimar aka @beigetype talks to us about his work
Meet Karim Boumjimar, the Spanish-Moroccan art student behind one of our favourite Instagram accounts, @beigetype. Aged 18 (though he says his spirit is 103-years-old), he’s caught our attention for his photography which represents quite a unique approach to self-portraiture.
Describing his work “as unique and beautiful as bins because each (photograph) contains new things to discover”, Boumjimar uses his own body as his primary medium and depicts himself with his pet snails, snakes and spiders. Alternatively, he does so modelling clothes and accessories he’s fashioned himself (like skirts made from newspapers, tops made from cling film and earrings crafted from cigarettes or SIM cards) or wearing nothing at all, with his nipples erased or alternatively multiplied by means of Photoshop.
Often captioned with things like “I don’t need a man to cum on my face, I need a man who can cum on my heart”, Boumjimar’s photographs are strange and weirdly beautiful. And we’re not his only fans, Dazed 100 designer Charles Jeffrey is too – he tapped him to model in his AW16 show, and later in his lookbook. Here, Boumjimar tells us more about his work.
What do you do?
Karim Boumjimar: I just troll people online and study art.
How did you get into photography?
Karim Boumjimar: When I was 15 my mum brought me a DSLR, I never used it until last year. The first time I used it, was to take professional nudes in the bathroom.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Karim Boumjimar: Decomposable like a fruit. I often compare myself to cockroaches, because they are hard to kill. I also feel like an onion, because people have to peel me to get to know me while crying about it. (My aesthetic) is as unique and beautiful as bins because each one of them contains new things to discover.
Who are you biggest influences?
Karim Boumjimar: Mykki Blanco, I love her so much, her music and Facebook statuses are really interesting. I adore Uma Kompton, her internet persona is beyond anything I’ve seen on Instagram, and I’m such a fan. When talking about people who have inspired me I can’t miss CupcaKe, she turned 18 not too long ago and songs like “Deepthroat” are just my jams when I'm chilling alone at home.
What themes are you trying to explore through your pictures?
Karim Boumjimar: I just explore the boundaries of the human body and play with it. My body is my main medium and I’m always pushing it to the extent that it shocks people. It’s very funny how the internet works, and it's crazy to think that people could go through my account while masturbating, or crying because of my pictures or captions. Recently, I’ve started editing my nudes and covering my nipples and belly button and I’m going to keep experimenting and see where it takes me!
How would you describe your approach to self-portraiture?
Karim Boumjimar: Like a snake, wiggling to get to a new place and trying to analyse the environment around. (Smelling, looking, staring, and reacting.)
Why do you include snails, snakes and spiders in your photographs?
Karim Boumjimar: I hang around with them because I want to mimic their behaviour. It represents society and how we seek to fit in social situations.
Your photographs also depict clothes and accessories that you’ve made, such as plastic bag tops and pair of cigarette earrings. When did you start making things like that? And why?
Karim Boumjimar: With the plastic tops, I was thinking of ways to reuse them and not down-cycle them. My teacher gave me earring hooks and I had a few cigarettes left till the end of the month, I needed them to last me for a week! So I made the earrings to trick my brain into believing that they were a piece so I wouldn’t touch them.
What’s the favourite piece you’ve made?
Karim Boumjimar: I’m always late to meetings so then I cut my black Air Forces (see below) in order to transform them into slippers so I could easily put them on and run to get the train.
Why do you use Instagram? And how does it relate to how you express yourself?
Karim Boumjimar: Because on Instagram I would get deleted but in real life I’d get arrested for indecent exposure.
You’re quite unapologetic about the nudity in your photographs, do you ever think about Instagram’s censorship rules?
Karim Boumjimar: I got deleted a few times, I don’t sexualise the body in that way.