Having announced their collaboration last year, AMI teams up with international visual archive Magnum Photos for a traveling exhibition and book titled “FAMILY.” Exploring the concept of togetherness, family, and culture, the collaboration ushers a new venture for the luxury Parisian label as it taps the wider facets of art.
Teaming up with 13 international visual artists from the agency, the traveling exhibition was premiered in Paris and Miami’s Art Basel in late 2022, and showcased in Shanghai last month. Hypebeast followed the founder and creative director of AMI Alexandre Mattiussi, Magnum Photos partnerships director, Nikandre Koukoulioti as well as five of the contributing artists behind-the-scenes as they geared up for the Paris, Miami and Shanghai stops of “FAMILY” to discuss the significance of the collaboration and unique perspectives to the concept.
“The idea was that we all come from different families. [We] have different ways to understand that concept and it’s how that can be interpreted into a picture,” Mattiussi explains. “It’s so intimate. What people have shared is so personal. Their memories, beliefs, and thoughts are what make this very special. It’s not just a book of pictures, it’s people’s stories.”
Mostly known for depicting isolated communities in Siberia, how German-Russian photographer Nanna Heitmann approached this collaboration’s commission was to produce a series of images to visualize “a short story of a clown that doesn’t have enough to eat, who’s lonely and dreaming of somebody to be with. To start a family with, in this modern world where people aren’t interested in any magic happening anymore.” Discussing the various interpretations of the concept the photographer says, “Each one of the artists looks at the world completely different. You see it with the topic of family. How many different ways you can show what family is.”
Guest artist Young Joo Lee taps into her upbringing within the high-rise apartment blocks of South Korea. “I wanted to capture different kinds of families. The best way to visually show that is to show the parallel lives that exist within the same pane,” Lee explains. Her usual subject matter is exploring the issues of discrimination through the lens of an immigrant woman and the essence of this piece is to express that compared to what “we show on the outside, there are very different forms of relationships that exist within.”
“This concept is related to my experience in life and in my community,” Mexico-based photographer Yael Martínez explains. His work often encompasses spirituality and how, as humans living on the same planet, we’re all connected in one way or another. Martínez’s images focus on absence in a photograph, that might seem empty at first glance, but opens the floor to interpretation on closer inspection. “It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the same blood. We’re connected to the universe and we’re living in this space and time together,” he says.
The collaboration between AMI and Magnum Photos is one for the history books. Cemented through archiving the essence of family through the lens of a range of international artists in print form. Meeting AMI’s art director Jonathan Ferrari for the first time “was love at first sight. Like magic was happening between us,” Koukoulioti explains. The brand gave all the artists full freedom to interpret the concept through their unique perspectives, and it’s the importance held to self-expression which is why she describes this campaign as “one of my best collaborations, ever.” For Mattiussi, however, this is only the start of a bigger push to elevate the brand into new dimensions. “It was really a conversation. And the best conversations are still in progress. This is just the beginning of something [special],” he concludes.
Check out the behind-the-scenes footage of AMI and Magnum Photos’ “FAMILY” exhibition in the video above. For more information on the collaboration, check out the brand’s website.