Photographer Kevin Mackintosh keeps Africa at the core of his visual aesthetic

Kevin Mackintosh is a South African photographer who now works and lives overseas. We managed to catch up with him on a recent trip home where he spoke about some of his projects, both past and present. He shared insights on his creative journey and a few of the many stories attached to the images he has captured.

“I was born in South Africa but have divided my time between New York, London and Cape Town for most of my life. Africa is part of my entire creative process. I constantly look back at the references, images and inspirations from here in all that I do.”

“I studied photography at college and after that I moved to London where some of the many titles I worked on included Vogue – China, Italian and Hong Kong editions – as well as Hole & Corner, Rakes Progress and At Large.”

“Some of my notable commercial work has been for projects such as Christies’ first ever World Campaign ‘The Art People’, and for Hermes, Kenzo, the Royal Ballet and Opera, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and De Beers.”

“I have showed in many group and solo exhibitions and published a book on a series I did on the Bolshoi Ballet Company in Moscow which saw huge success. I showed this work in South Africa at the Obert Contemporary Gallery in Mellville and 34 Long in Cape Town.”

“In the pipeline – have an exciting exhibition planned for Feb 2020 in Cape Town at the Deepest Darkest Gallery in De Waterkant, Cape Town.”

“The new body of work I am working on came from my complete obsession with the ‘stylised and controlled’ image, as opposed to a lot of the more generic, ‘lifestyle’ imagery there is around today.”

“The ever-wonderful Malian photographer Seydou Keita is an endless source of influence for me and African photographers, stylists and designers are finally receiving their long-awaited ‘time in the sun’ abroad.”

“I collaborate with my partner Daryl McGregor, who is a production designer. He has worked on many of these projects with me. We are often ‘road tripping’ into the Karoo (and actually bought a house there on the last trip), during which we create background images which are woven back into our compositions.”

“Marianne Fassler contacted me to do a series in which we document the many generations of her family, with her archive. It was a fascinating project with a very creative lady. The work will be used on various platforms in the future.”

“Having said that my work has a strong ‘African’ in influence. It is now combined with everything that I have learnt living abroad and has taught me to stay true to a very clear vision, within an ever-changing media circus that throws new demands at us every day.”

“To navigate through all that and still remain relevant in a very creative world is what keeps us on our toes.

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