Rudi Geyser’s graphic architectural images became the inspiration for the shopping pages in the October issue of House and Leisure. With these as a starting point, we sourced products with a modern edge – take a look on page 22 of our new magazine. In this online exclusive, we discover more about the Cape Town-based photographer: his journey, style and aspirations.
How did you get into photography?
Straight after finishing school in Cape Town, I decided to travel and work abroad, and based myself in the UK for a few years, travelling from there. I always knew I wanted to study fine art or photography and so, when the time came, I chose to study at Falmouth University in the UK, receiving my degree in 2012. During my time at university I made valuable connections that helped set me up for work assisting some top fashion photographers in London for a few years. After that, I took some time out to travel again and subsequently returned home to focus on creating work that’s relevant to me and where I come from.
What do you love most about your medium of choice?
I love photography because it’s like a snippet of time and a hyper-real representation of reality. It captures a single moment and allows the viewer to create the story around it.
How would you describe your style or aesthetic and how has it developed over the years?
That’s a tricky one, as I don’t particularly like labels. I guess I’d describe my style as colourfully liberating. My work often tells stories of people, places or ideas that haven’t been told. Although I don’t feel my aesthetic has changed too much, my approach has changed slightly. I’m focusing more on concept-based projects that allow me to express ideas and thought processes through visual media.
Congrats on your recent Loerie award. Tell us more about putting together the Dakar Express campaign with Superbalist and your experience in Central Africa?
Thank you! Yes, what an awesome project with an amazing team. Tammy Tinker and the Superbalist team were truly fantastic. The concept was inspired by Wes Anderson with a narrative of rail travel. We spent days researching the right area with the best aesthetic and Dakar in Senegal turned out to be perfect place. We also really wanted to cast locally so the shoot felt authentic. None of the cast are models, which is what I think made the campaign so approachable and relatable.
Who are your favourite photographers – both local and international – and why?
I really love the images Kyle Weeks has been creating, especially his Palm Collector series. David Goldblatt is an absolute master and a godfather of South African photography. I’ve always respected Pieter Hugo’s work and although I sometimes find it ethically challenging, I do think it’s important and has a place. On the international front, the one person who truly stands out is Ren Hang, a little-known Chinese photographer who recently committed suicide. He created so much extraordinary work in such a short period of time.
If not photography, what would you do?
I’d probably study viticulture. I love wine and how it’s made – the romance behind terroir and the relationship with the land. Winemakers must get so much satisfaction from making great wine… who knows, maybe a retirement plan?
What’s next? Are you currently working on any exciting projects that we should keep an eye out for?
I’ve recently released a self-published ’zine that contains a personal project I’ve been working on for the past two years. I have an exciting project I did with Nataal Media that should be out soon and also have a couple things on the go I can’t really talk about too much… you’ll have to wait and see.
Visit rudigeyser.com for more.