Mirka Laura Severa is a German photographer, art director, and visual artist based in Amsterdam. She has worked for many coveted clients, such as The New Yorker, Louis Vuitton, AnOther magazine, COS, and Wallpaper* magazine. She has also picked up a fair share of awards for her work, including an ADC Young Gun. All of these successes are completely deserved. Mirka Laura Severa is one of those rare people who has a truly unique perspective on the world, and is not hesitant to express it. Though the majority of the work is shot for commercial clients, it would be equally comfortable at an art gallery. It’s the slightly skewed angle on reality, an element of the unexpected, and a deeper engagement with issues surrounding her subject matter that puts it in a category outside much more predictable commercial work.
Severa not only photographs, but also art directs her projects, often moonlighting as a set designer too. This level of control allows her to execute her ideas with excellence and a full amount of quirk. Take “Still Life,” for example. An interrogation of excessive consumerism is a topic that attracts a barrage of cliches, and can often be found in the work of first year art school students. Mirka Laura Severa flips our visual expectations by pairing prosthetics with luxury products and high production studio photography. It is difficult to tell real from fake in these images, which makes them all the more disconcerting. In other projects, Severa experiments with materials to subvert their standard functions, builds custom terrariums for Nina Ricci handbags, compares mattress cross sections to sumptuous cakes, and makes snowmen fashion models. Every project has a different kind of magic, and I urge you to explore her portfolio. And check out this short talk that details the process behind some of the shoots — informative and funny.
Mirka Laura Severa is represented by unit in Amsterdam and in Isabelle Décamps Paris.