On this week’s episode of HYPEBEAST Radio, we caught up with photographer Viktor Vauthier while at the HYPEBEAST x adidas France “EQT Party” in Paris. According to Vauthier, his original ambition in life was to be an artist and a documentarian. “Before being a photographer, I wanted to be an artist only. I was like, “I’m gonna paint, I’m gonna do anything. I was like, ‘I’m gonna try things, I’m gonna do things.’ Through these years — thanks to my dad — I had this camera. I was taking photos, trying to be an artist. I actually didn’t realize it was an art and maybe that was the art that I should do.”
In typical French Romantic fashion, however, Vauthier met his significant other, Ella, and felt he had found his muse. “She was just so beautiful, it was like I had nothing to do behind the camera.” Inspired by his newfound love and the films of the French nouvelle vague, Vauthier began documenting his art and his friends, snapping photos of his friends and collaborators like Virgil Abloh and Alex Olson, as they quickly became cultural figures. “It could be pretentious to think that the people around me are all going to be huge stars. But honestly: it happened. It’s actually happening around me.”
To quote the photographer: “When I take photos of Virgil Abloh or Alex Olson, I feel they’re going to be the Andy Warhol or Jean-Michel Basquiat of my era.” Vauthier met both Abloh and Olson over the internet, trading messages on Tumblr—épistolaire friendships, as the French call them. Vauthier also cites skate photographers Ed Templeton and Patrick O’Dell’s Epicly Later’dblogs as early inspirations.
Listen to the episode in its entirety above.