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Robert Wunsch for Art Youth Society’s ‘Brainchild’

A concept born out of a desire to work with artists and photographers that Team AYS know and hold in esteem due to what they are able to bring across in their work, the AYS ‘Brainchild’ Project is distinctly different than anything you’ve seen from them before. Each photographer is set to contribute photographs for the project, using pieces from Art Youth Society, and incorporating them into their own unique work of art. This project places the emphases on artistic interpretation.

Robert Wunsch was born behind the iron curtain in the late 70’s as the son of an east-german mother and a west-german father with turkish roots. He left the country with his mother and moved to West-Berlin in 1985, where he spent the rest of his childhood.

In the late 90’s he founded the german hip hop group Dejavue together with Hannes von Döhren. After a 5 years music career in the aughts of this century, he began to study communication design in 2004 and graduated as a Diplom Designer in 2007.

He worked for numerous clients and advertising agencies as a freelancer for the next 3 years, before he finally found his real passion and switched to photography in 2010. Robert shot international personalities such as Pharrell Williams, Woody Harrelson, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Big Sean, Iggy Azalea, Nick Wooster, Wladimir Klitschko and many more. His works have been published in magazines like GQ, L’Officiel Hommes, Vogue, Highsnobiety, WAD, Intersection, Wired, Elle and Rolling Stone.

So, first: Where are you from, where are you now and where will you be in 10 years?
I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, and I am still living here today and I probably will be here in 10 years as well. I think Berlin is one of those cities where it‘s really hard to cut the cord if it‘s your origin. There are not many cities in the world you can compare with Berlin, but it‘s also kind of love and hate when it comes to the relationship between me and my hometown. Whenever I am here for a longer term I really start hating „her“ and desperately want to go away. But as soon as I start traveling the world or I live in another city for while it‘s just a matter of time that I start missing her again. Currently I have been living between Berlin and New York, traveling back and forth every 2-3 months. I think I will continue to do this to keep my boredom at bay.

How did you join the society (of photography artists) and why?
Accidentally. I mean photography has been always a part of my life. I started taking pictures with my mother’s camera on a trip to Italy when I was eight years old, and I got my first camera when I was nine. But I never intended to be a professional photographer. I studied communication design and worked as an art director for a couple of years. In 2009 I worked on this music project and the artist asked me if I would like to take the pictures in addition to the design work. It was my first professional photo job and I realized immediately that this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life.

What does art mean to you? Do you consider yourself as an artist?
By definition art is the result of a creative process or a trained skill, so almost everything can be art. The definition of visual arts, however, is more tricky and close-knit to one of the five branches of philosophy: Esthetics. So for me art is something other people see in your creative work defined by their recognition, appreciation and/or criticism. Calling yourself an artist is like calling yourself a good person. Of course you can do that, but it means nothing unless other people say this about you too. So I would call myself an impassioned photographer and creative person. If other people consider my work as art I‘m very grateful for that.

Youth is an attitude to life. Which aspects are essential for you?
Curiosity, creativity, happiness.

Which kind of editorial do you want to shoot, if budget was nothing to think about?
I would shoot one of these legendary excessive and extravagant editorials or campaigns they used to produce in the pre-digital photography era of the late 20th century. When they travelled with a bunch of super models and a team/entourage of 30 people around the world for like three weeks to get the job done. And with a client being more concerned if there‘s enough cold champagne left for the rest of the day than if he‘s getting the best possible pictures for the lowest price. Yeah, I think that would be fun.

City crush? Why?
Tokyo. Before I went there for the first time I asked a friend of mine who‘s been there before „What is Tokyo like? Is it really that crazy and different to our western cities as people say?“ He told me he could try to explain it to me but I have to see and feel it for myself before I will truly understand. That was 100% accurate, and I think translates to a lot of life experiences.

Interview by Sarah Krause