ArtAttack have had the privilege of recently meeting Nottingham Trent arts graduate, Jazz Rakkar. This young photographer specialises in fashion, beauty and commercial imagery. Jazz’s approach to photography commonly has themes surrounding form, the pose and classic photography styles. During his time at university, he also explored and researched themes regarding race and identity in fashion. Having studied with Jazz myself, I have had first hand experience watching his passion and talent develop.
I have had the chance to ask Jazz some personal questions about his photography for everyone to gain an insight into his process.
ArtAttack: Have you always been interested in art/photography?
Jazz Rakkar: I have always been interested in the broader sense of art in general, such as dance, music and art itself. My passion for photography only really came when I started reading fashion magazines and seeing all the creative advertising campaigns.
AA: Tell us about your work and what most interests you?
JR: My work tends to focus around the fashion and beauty aesthetic but more recently has more of a personal aspect whether it’s relative to myself or just my interests. Dance and music is still something that very much influences me when thinking of the concept, pose and even colours behind my images.
AA: What photographers/artists influence you/your work the most and why? OR what artist have you discovered recently that has left you particularly interested?
JR: Salvador Dali’s work has always been fascinating to me because of the purity and rawness of the paintings. Also I find myself more inspired by items of clothing, my favourite designer being Alexander McQueen for the beautiful play on soft and hard textures; and revisiting his work has left me feeling more inspired in terms of my own personal work.
AA: What’s your pick of upcoming exhibitions – if any?
JR: Even though it’s not technically the future as it has already opened this month, the ‘Champagne Life’ art show at the Saatchi Gallery was very interesting not only for the work but the fact that it is purely celebrated female artists from the past 30 years. Also the ‘VOGUE 100: A Century of Style’ at the National Portrait Gallery is something I’m very much looking forward to.
AA: What do you feel the London art scene is like for emerging artists?
JR: In terms of inspiration and exploration, the London art scene as well as the city itself is limitless, there is always something going on! In this sense as well, there are more opportunities to show your work in a gallery setting or at least the chance to have your work seen by some of the right people.
AA: Have you got any future projects lined up?
JR: I am cultivating a few more ideas currently. Being in the middle of a move to London has exposed me to so much more art and culture, which I feel will play a part perhaps in the content of my future images.
AA: What’s it been like since graduating from university in the sense of getting a job in the art industry?
JR: Getting a job in the art industry I have found is tough. It is vital to have working experience outside of your education as an asset. Something else I found difficult most was deciding where exactly I want to go career-wise, and how and what I would need to get there. I think in terms of not being hired straight away, has allowed me to really figure out my aesthetic as well as what I want my degree to do for me.
AA: What is your future goal for you and your work?
JR: My future goal would be to at least inspire one person with my images as many artists have done for me. Also a big goal (in a perfect world) would to be able to create a change in the diversity and representations of race in fashion imagery.
AA: If you could ask any artist (alive or dead) for advice, who would it be and what would you ask?
JR: If I could ask any artist for advice, it would be Chen Man. I have since my interest in photography started looked up to her and her work. I would probably ask how she mastered the blending of photography and illustrator to create such amazing pieces of digital art. Also what has she found her biggest strengths and setbacks have been during her career.