FOPElab is an unprecedented format that explores contemporary visual culture. It takes the form of a conversation between the brand and young talents in photography and the visual arts, called upon to interpret FOPE jewellery through their personal gaze. In this first international episode, Ali Ghorbani Moghaddam, an Iranian photographer based in Paris, explores the boundaries between analogue and digital by immersing FOPE jewellery in a layered and material dimension. The result is a surreal atmosphere in which jewellery, modelled by light and shadow, takes on new features and meanings.
I am convinced that in any artistic work there is always a limit and, by overcoming that limit, one can discover new elements, new possibilities.
AGM: My work is driven by the need to cross this boundary to achieve unexpected results. For this reason, I love experimenting with the layers and depth of images, mixing analogue and digital techniques: the mix always creates something new and surprising. When this happens, I feel I have created something worthwhile.
AGM – During the research phase, I was really fascinated by FOPE’s heritage. The details of the architecture in Vicenza and the design of the FOPE mesh reminded me of some surrealist paintings. For this reason I wanted to develop an imaginary and dreamlike world, where jewellery has the power to transport us to other places. To do this, I initially shot the jewellery with very simple backdrops, to get clean shots to work with later. Back in Paris, I printed several copies of the same photo, scanning them in various ways to obtain folds, reflections and highlights. During the process I used different types of photographic paper and the collage technique. I concluded by scanning the whole thing to obtain digital photos once more. At the same time, I took and developed medium-format photos depicting the FOPE jewellery with a mirrored and distorted backdrop, in a kind of tribute to surrealist inspiration.
FOPE is the first Italian brand I have worked with. I remember when, as a child, I saw the ‘Made in Italy’ label on products and I instinctively associated this with an indication of value.
AGM: I think it is difficult to understand fully the meaning of quality, as it is not an immediate concept. Quality, especially in fashion, is something you discover slowly; you need time and means to understand and appreciate the creative and manual work hidden within it. My first contact with Italian fashion came in 2019, when ‘Photo Vogue Italia’ published a photograph of mine. That was the moment that made me want a career in fashion photography, and in particular in the luxury sector. The reason for my choice is the search for innovation, the possibility of creating new languages. I want to work with brands that are able to innovate and renew themselves every day, making the most of quality, creativity and technology. For this reason, I am extremely happy to have had the opportunity to work with FOPE, a brand that bases its production on technology and quality.
AGM: I love new technologies. Lately, I have developed several projects with AI. For me it is a fun process, a useful tool to express my creativity in my spare time, when I am not shooting and developing medium-format photographs. I firmly believe, however, that an image created with artificial intelligence is not comparable to a photograph; they are and remain two different things, and one cannot replace the other.
Ali Ghorbani Moghaddam is an Iranian fashion photographer and creative artist, currently based in Paris. He graduated in 2023 with a degree in Fashion Film & Photography from the Paris College of Art. He began working with photography and film after attending a workshop held by Abbas Kiarostami, an acclaimed Iranian filmmaker. After spending his early years in Iran, he moved to Cyprus to pursue a degree in photography. Over the years, he has developed his own style, experimenting with and mixing analogue and digital techniques. Some of his work has been published in ‘PhotoVogue’, ‘Dépaysants Magazine’, ‘L’Officiel Baltic’ – for which he also shot the May 2023 cover – ‘Model.com’ and ‘Capture One’.