Hugo Comte Releases His First-Ever Photobook — No Title Needed
A 200-page collection, 85-image collection of existing and never-before-seen portraiture — accompanied by an exhibition at the newly opened Tase Gallery.
Prolific image-maker and Dua Lipa’s BFF Hugo Comte is here to launch a brand new project this February. This time, he’s creating a collection of all of the portraits he took of the women who’ve inspired him and put it all together in a curated book of imagery — a book that, in fact, doesn’t have a title to it.
‘The book doesn’t have a given title because I didn’t want people to associate any particular thought around this vision of women or the object itself,” Comte explains. “I wanted it to remain completely neutral and feel like the images are the title, they don’t require an additional label. The barcode is the symbol of the book, which in itself is unpronounceable and is its own language, much like Prince’s love symbol.”
A combination of existing and never-before-seen imagery, the photobook is full of iconic muses such as Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Irina Shayk and miss Dua Lipa herself, for whom Comte shot her latest album imagery. The book is intended to celebrate women who have always been at the center of his artistic vision — commanding the camera, these women aren’t merely subjects; as per Comte’s vision, they are watching us, allowing the viewer to gaze whilst they remain completely in control.
Thanks to the photographer’s meticulous creative process and almost architectural approach to space, light and atmosphere, all of the subjects featured possess marked differences while each becoming synchronized, encompassed in Comte’s cinematic and dreamlike spaces and creates an intimacy between the subject and the beholder.
“The book is a hybrid retrospective; putting into perspective archives and new work together, in order to create a new narrative and narrow my identity into a precise vision of attitudes, atmosphere and colors,” the photographer says. “Creating new narratives between the muses themselves, as well as between the muses and the viewer. The book becomes an object of synchronization, affirmation and contemplation. A style and design manifesto defining an era for the artist and whoever projects their dreams into his imagery.”
In addition to previously publishes portraits, the book also features the never-before-seen works — special pieces made in collaboration with airbrush artists to repaint his imagery, as well as unique computer-generated pieces designed in a similar grained texture and culminating in Comte’s recognizable style. for which he’s best known. Very realistic yet mysterious at the same time.
As mentioned before, the book is completely nameless and very minimal in approach, remaining all-white externally as it is meant to live and be used, with the white changing with time and age. The image-maker has worked with Art Director David McKelvey on this 200-page collection, 85-image collection that has only a sole barcode on its front cover — a symbol of huge significance to Comte. He has always bestowed a barcode upon each of his images; turning something digital into a more physical and material piece. When used in the book, the barcode is given more space and importance — becoming an artwork in itself and a symbol of Comte’s entire body of work.
The launch will be accompanied by an exhibition at the Tase Gallery, LA, where Comte will have a one-week show (February 25th – March 3rd) of seven selected works in the brand new gallery space. The book is also available for sale starting today on HugoComte.com.