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Tarek Mawad is an Artist, Creative Director and photographer born in Stuttgart, Germany.
He started off his photography career while creating 2D/3D animation.
What sets him apart is his strong visual identity, exploring different light sources, materials and various techniques.
During his studies of Media Art and Design in the Academy of Fine Arts in Saarbrücken, he teamed up with Friedrich van Schoor as “3hund”.
Together they commenced in the field of 3D/2D animation, light installation and projection mapping and created art projects like “Bioluminescent Forest” and “Lucid” which were awarded as “vimeo staff picks” and where published in various Magazines. Nevertheless he had a desire to unify his various skills and thus revolutionize contemporary photography.
His main goal is to constantly challenge himself developing new techniques by combining fashion photography and art, speciazialising on small details and effects he captures on film. With his skills in projection mapping, light installation and digital media he created a new style in photography and a strong cinematographic signature.
Where are you from, where are you based now? Can you Tell us a little about the 2?
I’m from Stuttgart, Germany and lived for 9 years in Saarbrücken, a small city on the border tof France. That kind of city you’d go alone to a club because you know you’d meet people you know.
I studied media, art and design at the academy of fine arts Saar and focused on 2D/3D animation ,VFX and projection mapping. Together with my former colleague Friedrich van Schoor we founded 3hund and specialized mainly on projection mapping / light installation and visual art. The goal was to create unique ideas by using simple but effective techniques. 2 years ago I left Saarbrücken and 3hund and moved to Berlin.
I decided to take the risk and put all the know how I have learned over the years into photography. Berlin is amazing, so many interesting and different people and personalities living next to each other. You can be whoever you want and people don’t care. That’s what I love most.
Why Photography, what got you into shooting?
I always loved walking around and observing light and people. Looking for interesting faces and light that was doing something for me. I love the idea of a handcraft, something physical that you can touch and work with, which is why I’m shooting on film. I can touch the negatives, manipulate them, experiment with them and get lost in the creative process.
Because I worked in a very modern digital world I liked to balance it out with old film cameras. To make sure the outcome is “real”. The negatives are the proof that everything I’m shooting I do in camera. It would be easier to use photoshop but it doesn’t challenge me and I love challenging myself.
How do you tie your background in animation into photography?
Technique and art go hand in hand and I love using the fast development of what’s technically possible to create something new but still timeless. 3d animation is the master class in the digital world since you can recreate everything you see in real life within a software. I loved visualising characters that are only in my imagination and make them come to life. It’s incredible.
I learned so much about light / how light is reflecting / refracting or bouncing from one pot into another. So since I was used to shaping light from scratch in 3D, I now do the same in real life and I know exactly how to set it.
We love your take on fashion and editorial, how do you plan a concept?
I take my time to prepare myself mentally, since every free and personal project I’m doing make me nervous. I love what I’m doing but I’m a perfectionist and control freak when it comes to my personal work… So I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I want to top the last project and become better and better. And therefore I love being in my “cocoon” listening to music, allowing emotions to flow and making use of several feelings that may crop up to create new ideas.
I think about negative spaces, shapes, light, styling, perspective, mood and think of images as moving images synchronise with the music I’m listening to. Once it clicks I make sketches. Art takes time and I hate rushing it. Sometimes there are no other choices however, then I would trust my spontaneous vision and skills on set.
I love to create new ideas. I’m never nervous when it comes to jobs since I’m executing most of the time. But when I put my personal language into it, it becomes very personal and everything has to fit.
For the team to visualise I create mood boards to get an idea and understanding of what I’m going to do.
Whats next for you?
I’m working on a surrealistic and metaphoric film together with my best friend Hanna Goldfisch visualising the process of growth and overcoming fear. Furthermore I’m looking forward to shoot more campaigns in the way I want to, do a solo exhibition in the beginning of next year, release a photo book ect.
Is there a campaign or dream project you would love to shoot?
For now I set milestones because I want go keep chasing and do what I do forever. I would love to shoot campaigns for brands like Maison Margiela, Mugler, Dion Lee, Y project and interpret it in my own language. But what I would love is to see my work being showcased in big Galleries and leave a footstep like other amazing Artists did before.
Where can we find you online?