Photographer Koto Bolofo in Prague

Czech Position interviews a versatile artist whose exhibit in Prague focuses on the years he spent photographing the craftsmen of Hermès at work

10.02.2012|Jana Máchalová
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South Africa-born and British-raised photographer Kota Bolofo says that when people see his work, they think he’s a well-read intellectual — “but it’s not true,” he says with an easy laugh.

Bolofo’s body of work and range of accomplishments would suggest otherwise: since the ’80s, he has mainly worked with Vogue, as well as with Italian and French editions of Marie ClaireGQEsquire among other notable fashion magazines. A versatile artist, he also shot the 1995 documentary film The Land is White, the Seed is Blackand has a growing number of books to his name.

Most recently, Bolofo is the author of the photo book La Maison — itself an elaborate object comprising eleven volumes, some 33 photographs of which now comprise an ongoing exhibit at the French Institute in Prague. It is the result of seven years’ work after becoming the first photographer to be granted unlimited access to the secret workshops of Hermès, the fashion house famous for its leather goods, scarves and other objects of beauty.

In an interview with Czech Position, Bolofo talks on a wide range of topics, from his earliest childhood memories and how meeting celebrated American photographer Richard Avedon changed his life, to his admiration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi — and, of course, the world of haute couture. 

La Maison (Koto Bolofo)
Gallery 35,
French Institute
Štěpánská 35, Prague 1
Through March 2012