New boutique photographer talent agency phenomena boasts quite the roster. This month’s launch sees a line up of six of the hottest most zeitgeisty multi disciplinary image making talent of the moment whose diverse backgrounds traverse film, documentary and fine art.
“Most agencies are the same,” says founder Sarah Mahini. The aim with Phenomena is to “create a bridge between luxury fashion brands and the arts, creating meaningful content in an image saturated world.”
Mahini previously represented talents like Martin Parr, Craig McDean and Mario Sorrenti at Katie Backer and most recently Magnum.
“With brands there’s a desire to tell real stories,” she explains. “It’s more representative and interesting to have photographers who really speak to their audience so the idea is not just to work with fashion photographers but with artists and image markers who really have something to say.”
Phenomena represents the commercial photography of Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Gaspar Noé, Diana Markosian, Amanda Charchian, Nabil and Fenn O’Meally, worldwide, in exclusively.
“They all do something that’s slightly off and really use their own voice,” says Mahini.
Most of the Phenomena roster shoots in analogue. While once brands balked at the idea of relinquishing the control afforded by digital photography, “there’s been a massive shift in the industry back to the craft of image making,” she notes.
Pierre Ange Carlotti provocative, youth driven, often sexually charged imagery has found favor with Saint Laurent for which he directed a short in September to celebrate its Paris pop up with LA celebrity haunt Sushi Park.
Gaspar Noé whose films such as irreversible, Enter The Void other Lux Aeterna with Charlotte Gainsbourg in collaboration with Saint Laurent have all been selected at various editions of the Cannes Film Festival.
Fenn O’Meally has directed films for some of the world’s biggest brands including Nike, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Prada and Miu Miu. She was most recently named Director to Watch at the Ad Age Creativity Awards 2021.
Fine art trained photographer Amanda Charchian has worked on still and film projects for Gucci, Cartier and Bulgari alongside musicians like Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys.
The images of documentary artist Diana Markosian has been exhibited at Moma in San Francisco with a short film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, plus projects for National Geographic, Time Magazine other Vanity Fair.
Nabil collaborates with artists from Travis Scott and Kanye West to The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar. He has worked on cross media projects for Puma, Nike, Coca-Cola and adidas.
She reveals that O’Meally is currently working on a big project with a music industry artist and that Nabil is launching a book about Jamaica while Carlotti’s next project for the Kering owned Saint Laurent releases immanently. Four of the Phenomena roster are working on a collective book project commissioned by a luxury brand.
Mahini stresses that the agency is not just about engaging brands for campaigns but also on supporting art projects. However, she also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right projects. “It’s important to say no. To really protect an artist’s creative energy and how they use it.”