The LA- and Paris-based photographer Henrik Purienne captures the State of Nature beachwear collection at Sandy Bay, Cape Town. From his coastal hometown, the South African native shares his work and life perspectives, and details of his new book, ‘TASJAKI’ (IDEA, July 2021).
How would you describe your point of view to someone new to your work?
In terms of personal work — I mainly document my girlfriend and friends. Ideally this is how I prefer to approach commercial work as well.
No production or schedule.
Has your perspective evolved over the years? If so, how?
I have moved full circle and yet again arrived at the same conclusion — keep it simple.
How do your surroundings and lifestyle factor into your work?
My environment forms the backdrop for my work and it is a result of the way I live — every object in my world is carefully curated.
If you can live without anything except three things—material or abstract—what would they be?
Love, Dreams, The Ocean.
What’s an image or memory that’s stuck with you throughout your career?
When I was in my early 20s I documented my grandparents at a retirement home for several years until they both passed away.
An experience that made me critically aware of the predictable and repetitive nature of human life — an experience which influenced my decision to live a simple life doing what I love.
What’s speaking to you right now? What are you doing, watching, reading, or listening to?
I am currently on an introspective journey — blocking out all outside voices in input.
Tell us about your upcoming book.
Tasjaki — is the nickname of my lover and muse — Natasja Madsen. It is a collection of intimate portraits and snapshots taken over several years of living and traveling together — it's a celebration of our love — often intense and wild — never boring — never ending.