Purienne | Ethereal Nature & Physical Beauty

While sexualized content & nudity in photography is nothing new, Henrik Purienne shoots only health looking women, willing women, with unmade faces, hair unruly & clothing, if any, unfussy

By Balthazar Malevolent

Purienne | Ethereal Nature & Physical Beauty

Henrik Purienne (born as Benninghoff H. Puren; 1977), is a South African photographer, film director, & founder of fashion publication, Mirage, living in Los Angeles. Purienne began his career making documentary films influenced by the realist aesthetic of filmmakers such as Eric Rohmer & John Cassavetes. His subjects are predominantly natural looking girls often set against beach or poolside situations. He has created advertising campaigns & editorials for the brands Louis Vuitton, Maison Kitsuné, Maison Margiela, Interview Magazine, Playboy, Vogue, Lui, & Purple often featuring contemporary 'it girls' such as Sky Ferreira, Emily Ratajkowski, Camille Rowe, & Aymeline Valade.

In 2009 he launched the fashion & culture publication, Mirage. Henrik Purienne’s photography mixes ethereal nature & physical beauty, with a warm & often exotic ambience. All this is interwoven with domestic & voyeuristic sexual imagery, which converge at a point between provocation & profundity. With Holiday, his second volume of photography, Purienne presents a series of trips with friends & girlfriends captured between his native South Africa, the Mediterranean, & his new home, Los Angeles. Shot exclusively in his signature 35mm format, Purienne's images often include imperfections that belie the sophistication of his technique, resulting in images at once reminiscent of the past & the future. Mirage Magazine was founded independently by Henrik Purienne & Frank Rocholl as a 400 page independent fashion & culture magazine, inspired by the photographic aesthetic & hedonistic culture of the 1960s & 1970s.

Subject matter relates to timeless aesthetic in the fields of architecture, art & design interwoven with visions of forgotten utopias, unsung heroes & cinematic stagings. Editorial content has a documentary feel & often reflects the personal relationship of photographer & muse, with key themes being summer, sun, youth, freedom & rebellion. Henrik Purienne curated his first book, the self-titled 'Purienne', fronted by friend & model Sonja van den Heever. Purienne's images afford us immeasurable scope for desire. It is where imagination & reality merge; art & eroticism are companions & self-expression reigns ultimate.

While sexualized content & nudity in photography is nothing, Henrik Purienne shoots only healthy looking women, willing women, with unmade faces, hair unruly & clothing, if any, unfussy. All this amalgamates to encapsulate the beauty of his subject in her truest form. Most often, the backdrop is a sunny, domestic situation, engendering tender & nostalgic connotations; we can see and feel the heat through his images.

lilah summer purienne
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