Photographer of the Week: Jonathan Ribeiro

Jonathan Ribeiro, based in Cannes, is a thoughtful young photographer who’s interested in philosophy and metaphysics, and this gives his work a serious, sometimes slightly mournful cast.

Jonathan Ribeiro 01

He favors abandoned, dingy settings with chiaroscuro light, and the subjects that intrigue him are violence, powerful emotion and the boundary between life and death. Perhaps that begins to explain his 2013 collaboration with the French firm Space Monkeys (not to be confused with the British rock band Space Monkeys) to design and create a limited-edition T-shirt.

Jonathan Ribeiro 02 T-shirt

Modeling the T-shirt there is Charlotte Descouens. Here she is being a cat in another Jonathan Ribiero shoot presenting some uncommonly glamorous animals:

Jonathan Ribeiro 03 Charlotte Descouens cat

But the model we should really meet is Sophie Stiquée from Bordeaux (and her name is, of course, a French pun):

Jonathan Ribeiro 04 Sophie Stiquee

Jonathan Ribeiro 05 Sophie StiqueeJonathan Ribeiro 06 Sophie Stiquee

She was hired not just to be photographed, but also to act in a five-minute short film linked to the project and parodying the hit television series, The Walking Dead. Here she is in the alarmingly short shorts she wears for the film:

Jonathan Ribeiro 07

And on location, another characteristically run-down Ribeiro setting:

Jonathan Ribeiro 08

And in a mock film poster too:

Jonathan Ribeiro 09

The film was released on Youtube in November 2013, and, although the photography is impressive, it has a few problems of logic and coherence. It’s a single extended joke whose punchline is given away in the title: Sophie hunts the Zombie (played by Dino Feu), fails to kill it and runs away, then gets caught and…

Jonathan Ribeiro 10

Looked at purely for the spanking, it’s not as well posed as it might be and, when you watch the film, it might strike you as a bit half-hearted. And given the amount of time Sophie spends trying to escape, and the terror she shows when she’s trapped, she doesn’t seem too unhappy when she’s finally seen being spanked. Looking at her shorts, we can easily understand the zombie’s motivation, but what’s Sophie’s? I can only imagine that she thought he was going to eat her brain, and is relieved when it turns out all he wants is a bit of slap and tickle. But never mind, let’s just enjoy it for what it’s worth:

If you are interested in Jonathan Ribeiro’s work, please visit his website.

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