Eli Rezkallah is a photographer, art director and founder of Plastik Magazine.
The Gone Cat: How did your career in art start? Was it always centered around photography?
Eli Rezkallah: I officially entered this world at the age of 16, I worked as a stylist with one of Lebanon’s top photographer for about three years, then I moved to work as a creative director for fashion shows, one of my biggest passions until now is live shows so that was super fun. At the age of 21 I decided to rent a small office just to be able to handle my freelance work, this office became Plastik Studios now where I handle all my client’s jobs as well as Plastik Magazine.
GC: There is a lot of use of the colors pink, and pastels and powerful yet very feminine colours. These colors and that certain aesthetic is very current. Do you have any plans to shift your aesthetic from this?
ER: I don’t think of it as current and I also don’t have aesthetic plans, my style evolved drastically through the years and I’m sure it will keep on evolving depending on where i am in life at that specific moment and what excites me, that’s how it started and hopefully I will always manage to work around this idea.
GC: What’s the artistic landscape like in Beirut?
ER: It’s definitely in a better place than where it was when I first launched Plastik, The new generation has seen more art than any other generation before, mainly because of Instagram, by offering a platform for artists the internet also gathered a lot of art fans and triggered the curiosity of plenty of people that weren’t necessarily exposed to that before. In Beirut we have brilliant artists and with big art fairs like the Beirut Art Fair, we’re getting more opportunities to showcase what Beirut has to offer to the world, Through the Beirut art fair I met the gallery that represents me now and showcased my work in Bangkok, Palm Beach, Paris and Singapore.
GC: Which photographers had an influence on you over the years?
ER: Guy Bourdin mostly, his work makes me feel like I’m looking at childhood pictures of my mother, it’s nostalgic and I love that!
And Helmut Newton, his ability to show real situations in a such a voyeuristic way is the sexiest thing ever
GC: Why did you start Plastik magazine?
ER: I started Plastik because i wanted to create my own platform where I showcase my collaborative work without having a client or anyone else to dictate the concept or having to explain why I’m doing a certain thing to someone. Also to highlight the world’s best artists and celebrate their work.
GC: If you could have a dinner party with any 3 people past or present/alive/fictional/non fictional.. anyone. Who would you choose?
ER: It’s hard to answer this question because if I admire someone’s work so much, sometimes I don’t necessarily want to meet them or know the “real” them because that could be such a disappointment. But if I had to chose, out of curiosity I’d pick Pedro Almodovar, Carrie Bradshaw and Carine Roitfeld.