silky black skin and grand fashion make this south african photographer’s series intoxicating

July 20, 2018
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South African photographer Matthew Schell describes himself as a “starving artist with a will to express a sense of non-conventionalism and illusory depicting the fragility of the human experience.” Schell exhibits this non-conventionalism in a photo series inspired by Ugandan model Paul Mwesigwa (repped by Twenty Model Management), producing a series of pictures aimed at capturing Paul’s ethereal essence.

“I met Paul at a fashion week here in South Africa”, Schell tells AFROPUNK. “A beautiful male model from Uganda. The first time I photographed him backstage at Fashion Week I couldn’t help but feel drawn to his ethereal presence. A soft but strong force that he exuded, making everyone in the room feel safe but envious. I remember shuffling through the chaos backstage trying to get his details to shoot with him.

A few months later I had the opportunity to do a test with Paul, basing the concept on the feeling I felt when I met him. It was the first time I’ve shot a concept that was purely derived from emotion rather than ‘static’ ideas. Some of these feelings were powerful, feminine, wild and safe -in an otherworldly way. His beautiful skin reminding me of silk, resembling the garments draped around him. Almost holy, like the Saint. A burning flower.”

Schell’s intoxicating work can found on his website and on his Instagram.

All images by Matthew Schell, posted with permission.