After sitting behind a desk working on advertising jobs in New York, photographers Julia Koteliansky and Alexander Kerr of ioulex decided to get behind the camera. The couple had met in Paris while studying at the Parsons School of Design and continue to travel between the two cities for work. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, they set out to create work of their own, and a style that has become synonymous with ioulex. Now they shoot for a range of publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times T magazine and M le Monde and have exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design in New York and Colette in Paris. The fashion film “A Mon Seul Désir”, which they created in conjunction with design studio Mogollon, won a Make-Up Forever Beauty Prize at ASVOFF 5.
Which five words best describe you? Collectively, we’re committed, excitable, delusional, thoughtful and complementary.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It’s hard to separate our life together from our career. We met as second year students at Parsons in Paris, and immediately started working together. After graduating we each worked in advertising in New York for a few years as graphic designers and art directors. Our actual career in photography started when we quit our jobs and got back to collaborating on image-making. It took a while to get any commissioned work, but we persevered and kept on shooting anyway. Our first agents, Josette Lata and Rida Chin, were early champions of our work; their patience and encouragement were instrumental in getting us on track.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Find and follow what you’re truly passionate about, and things will fall into place one way or another.
What’s your proudest career achievement? We were very proud of our first shoot for the New Yorker, a portrait of choreographer Benjamin Millepied. Our families were very excited too.
What’s been your best decision? Leave the studio and all the photo gear behind and go shoot wherever and however you can.
Who inspires you? New York artists and performers - Daniel McDonald, Mx Vivian Bond, Kembra Pfahler.
What are you passionate about? Collaborating with artist friends in various media - costume (Christian Joy), sound (Jason P Grisell and Philippe Bresson), dance (Isabella Boylston).
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Marcel Duchamp - to meet and to photograph.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Shoot in Kyoto.
What are you reading? Solaris by Stanislaw Lem.
images courtesy of ioulex