Boris Frantz is a young talented photographer born in 1987 in Luxembourg. Constantly looking for human relation and evasion, he finds his inspiration in urban culture and music. This Jack-of-all-trades directed Olow’s “Hors Piste” short film accompanying the FW17 collection.
Hi Boris! How are you? You must be in the South-West of France right now! You were born in Luxembourg; what made you want to settle down in Biarritz?
I’m very well! I am in Biarritz, yes, I just got back from a trip to New York which did me the world of good, so much inspiration for my future projects. It’s a long story but I’ll try to be brief; I left Luxembourg with my parents when I was 5 years old, we moved to South-West France in a small town in the Alps of Haute Provence. After a childhood spent out in the open air, I discovered I had a passion for golf, so much so that I went ahead and did a sport-étude (classical studies combined with a high-performance sport) in Montpellier. I then got my baccalaureate and moved to Toulouse to go to a photography school, ETPA. Once I graduated, I became a professional photographer mainly working for skateboard brands, notably Official Skate Shop. I lived in Toulouse for 8 years, and then I went looking for nature and calm and I ended up in Biarritz for one Spring and found my own little piece of heaven here.
Let’s talk photography; how old were you when you picked up your first camera?
My father shared his passion for photography with me when I was about 8 years old when he lent me his analogue camera. Ever since then I have kept that curiosity for images, it’s a very fascinating process. To be able to capture an instant, compose with light and the elements surrounding us to create a scene, that’s the essence of my work and what has fed my passion for all these years.
When did you realise you wanted to become a photographer? Tell us about your journey!
I have always been a Jack-of-all-trades, so I found it difficult to limit myself to one discipline. I practiced lots of different sports as a kid, to finally settle on golf. It’s a sport that combines concentration, precision and hard physical work, even though people often think the opposite. But I didn’t really like that whole world and I had to reassess my future when I sat my baccalaureate; so I turned to photography, another passion that had, until then, remained buried, but allowed me to keep that same freedom I found in golf; you travel a lot, you’re in touch with nature, two things I found in photography.
You often collaborate with tattoo shop Bleu Noir, notably on their videos. What’s your relationship with them and the tattoo world?
I met Supakitch through my girlfriend, Little Madi, and we quickly became friends. I then met all the artists working at Bleu Noir and we all got along really well. We saw each other all the time, and figured we should work together and combine our worlds. I was quickly drawn to the tattoo world, especially Bleu Noir’s way of showcasing their artists’ talent. That’s what adds a little something to the images. As I said previously, I’m a Jack-of-all-trades, so with the videos I did for them, I also created their soundtracks.
You shot the lookbook for the OLOW x SUPAKITCH capsule collection in South Africa, a country you have a strong connection with. Tell us about how it all happened.
My parents fell in love with South Africa 10 years ago, and I caught the bug as well, so I wanted to share my newfound love with Supakitch, Koralie and Little Madi. So we set up a project in partnership with Posca to help the non-profit organisation Kenako. Kenako was founded with my father and friends in 2010 after one of our trips to South Africa. Our idea was to help children in need living in townships. We have been able to help out financially and humanely by doing lots of exhibition projects. With Supakitch, we were lucky to be able to shoot the collection at the same time as doing the project with Posca. For this project, Supakitch, Koralie, Little Madi and I decided to do murals and colouring workshops for the children of Fikelela, an outreach centre for orphaned children who are nearly all affected by HIV. So we created a mural in Cape Town in an up and coming neighbourhood called Woodstock, and a second one at the Fikelela centre, followed by a colouring workshop for the children. I filmed the whole journey and you can see the video up on my Vimeo page or by Googling cape town project boris frantz. Go and take a look!
What would you say is your favourite memory from that trip?
The three days we spent creating the murals; we shared many incredibly strong moments with people who made us question and put into perspective our vision of life in Europe. We were in the middle of the Woodstock locals, and the children, amazed by the paintings, quickly felt inspired to do their own drawings next to ours. The same happened at Fikelela. I could go on and on but I think the images in the video speak for themselves.
Last question: any dreams or crazy projects in the pipeline?
I’d like to find the time to work on my personal projects but I’m sure I’ll find some soon! It’s still a bit hush hush but I am doing a portrait project at the moment precisely based on time; in a world where everything moves so fast, a world of social networks, the Internet, digital photography, I want to take my time. Take the time to go and meet people and communicate and learn more about my subjects. I will be taking pictures on my analogue Hasselblad. But I will be showing some snippets soon, for the curious you just have to follow me on social media! The logical result would be an exhibition of course. I also want to continue working on my music; I have been making hip-hop beats with a mate for some years now, and we’ve never put anything out, so I’m sure we’ll be releasing some stuff soon. For those who would like to know a bit more about us, the name of our small crew is The Anklebreakers.
Oh, one last question, promise! You’re very much a part of the surfing world; any secret spot you could let us in on?
I’m linked to the surfing world but I can’t hide the fact that I’m not a pro surfer, I need just a little bit more time to hit the water! So, sorry, I don’t have a secret spot, but I can highly recommend you pay a visit to Cape Town, you won’t be disappointed!
More information on Boris Frantz on his website, his vimeo and his Instagram.