Bruno Is a Celebrity.
72 black and white photographs, 22 in colour
over 92 pages
Hardcover 27.1 x 20 cm
Printed on 120 gsm art paper
Limited edition (self-published)
Printed & bound in Germany
Bruno is a character we are all familiar with: a person who is famous for being famous - pure Warhol, as it were - or for becoming rich and famous through exceptional talent and acute business sense, helped by online social networking, blogging, and the internet in general.
When casting Bruno, I knew I didn’t want a human actor. The idea of a fictitious celebrity portrait called for something more colourful, more humorous, and as over-the-top as possible. So after I found a cute little French Bulldog, I worked on bringing out the discrepancies between the topic’s inherent excess and the outward appearance of a particularly adorable pet, and I hugely enjoyed the process.
In its individual sections and in the rhythm of its overall design the book shows how Bruno follows himself, turns around himself, dances with himself and admires himself in the giant mirror of the fantasy that is his world. We see his toys in all shapes and sizes and how small and happy he looks next to them. We feel the energy emanating from fans and backers alike but we also feel the pressure. In the end, it is not clear who is in control of this very contemporary product called Bruno. Who is pushing him - or should I say, “it”? Don’t stop the dance - it’s the sweet and softly urging pulse of this well-known Brian Ferry song that, ideally, I would love my readers to remember while browsing the book. Sentences in the shape of slogans and poster-like double spreads, all in hefty block letters and screaming colours, play their part, too, in content, form and sequencing. I love the wire binding, which, besides conveying a certain down-to-earth look to the object as a whole, makes it easy to open it at any page, place it flat on the table and look at double spreads or browse through without damaging its spine.
While working on this photobook I got intrigued by the biggest celebrity, the greatest narcissist, the most ingenious media manipulator of them all, online or offline, and the most backward-looking shaper of our present and future destinies: Donald Trump, the unprecedented President of the United States. Which is why my Bruno gets intrigued as well and sees a bright future ahead of him, in looking towards an icon where celebrity culture and politics fuse into a terrible new entity.