Virginia Arcaro

“I learned to rediscover myself, my body and my mind through photography”

Virginia Arcaro is a visual artist whose work spans the realms of painting, collage and photography and explores personal connections with contemporary culture, art and high fashion. Working with the likes of Dior Homme, Acne Studios, Arcaro’s editorials integrate elements of fashion and art history with her own personal vision. The result is an impressive and authentic body of work that is sleek and carefully considered. Arcaro’s practice draws inspiration from a range of subcultures and the limitless potential of photography as a medium.

NR looks into Arcaro’s influences and creative process across both her personal and editorial work to learn more about their artistic production. 

You have a really interesting body of work that ranges from high fashion to more intimate, personal pieces. What have been some of your favourite photography projects to work on? 

Definitely the projects in which I had the freedom to express myself and my creative vision without many boundaries and limits. And those in which I tried to simultaneously blur and establish the lines between art and fashion.  

How did you start getting into photography? 

Since I was very young, I’ve always had my camera with me. I was constantly shooting. It has always been a passion. On a professional level, I started immediately after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts, collaborating with my boyfriend at that time, shooting the collections of his brand and also curating the creative direction of every photographic project with him. Soon after, I started working as a backstage photographer during fashion shows in Milan, Paris and London, and at the same time I was shooting editorials for magazines and commercial works for various luxury brands.  

How much does fashion influence your work and creative process? 

Fashion is both a means of expression and a source of inspiration. It definitely affects me a lot, but not so much to overwhelm my creative process. When I started working in fashion, I was quite clueless about how complex the industry was. Working in the field and having had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many different people helped me learn a lot. I feel honoured and will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to document the incredible work of designers I love and admire. 

What has impacted your creative vision the most? 

My background and cultural experiences, music, my love for rebellious youth cultures and subcultures – when they could still be defined as such. And having studied art history for years, I can’t deny that traditions and classical references also played an important role in impacting my vision.  

What people and places do you draw the most inspiration from? 

From authentic people, radically different people, confident outsiders. I’m inspired by any place I have a connection with – a connection that is not only physical but also mental. From all the places I’m sentimentally attached to for some reason. 

How have you managed to stay present and creative during the past year? 

Last year was surreal, but I think it had a positive impact on my life and it helped me a lot on a creative level. My job has always led me to travel continuously, and I’ve always loved traveling in my free time too. I had to learn to stop and be in one place for months, so I had time to recharge, time to reflect and time to develop new creatives projects. I learned to rediscover myself, my body and my mind through photography, immersing myself deeply in the essence of art.

How do you choose your subjects and the people you photograph? 

Each person is unique, and I choose them for different reasons. There’s no rule. I understand immediately when I like a subject. 

Is there a main message you want to say with your more personal photographs, or do you find it’s more of a relaxed and natural process? 

It’s a combination of both. I feel it’s a natural process for me to shoot something with a meaning, or a plurality of meanings. Each image contains messages and symbols that lead to a different dialogue. Interpret as you will. 

Virginia Arcaro’s work has been featured in Dazed Digital, AnOther Magazine, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Vogue UK, Harper’s Bazaar UK, Highsnobiety and more.

Arcaro’s work can be found here

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