In conversation with Coco Capitan
London-based photographer and artist Coco Capitán (b. 1992, Spain) majored in fashion photography at University of the Arts London and earned her master’s degree in photography at the Royal College of Art. She works across a wide range of genres including photography, painting, mural, text, video and installation with a distinctive sense of candidness and freedom.
She has shot campaigns for world-renowned fashion brands and magazines such as Gucci, Dazed, Self Service, Vogue and Dior. Realizing her artistic potential as a Young Art Star chosen by Gucci in 2017, she undertook a project to embellish the exterior of Gucci buildings in New York, Milan, Florence and Miami. She was invited to Art Basel Miami 2017, premiering her short film “Learning to Transcend the Physical Barrier that Owning a Body Implies.”
She has had solo exhibitions in Seoul, Korea, with “Is It Tomorrow Yet” in 2018; followed by “Busy Living: Everything with Everyone, Everywhere, All of the Time” in 2019 in Paris, France; and “Naïvy” in London, UK, 2020.
As a young artist with a great talent and skill, she was awarded the FF+WE Prize from the Photographers’ Gallery in 2015 and is a frequent speaker at University of Cambridge (UK), Aalto University (Finland) and University of the Arts London (UK).
Born in Spain in 1992 and currently based in London, you’re a multifaceted media artist tackling the worlds of photography, paintings, murals, installations and more. You initially studied photography at the University of the Arts (London) and obtained a masters degree at the Royal College of Art (London), becoming a prominent young talent in the industry and embarking in many high-end projects. Going back to the start what moved you to embrace this career?
I always wanted to be an artist, it is a version of who I am now, and the way that I express myself and what I feel and think. In a way I have always been an artist, before my career started. But formally, I thought getting an education, learning as much as I could, and meeting different people, was the best way to start.
How do you define working with Zalando on the designer campaign?
It was a refreshing and new campaign, where I was able to express creativity and see a very interesting project development. The format of the campaign was innovative, a digital experience that merges the world of social with an interactive film, inviting the spectators into a world, characterised by fluidity, self-expression and inclusivity.
How would you describe your vision and work as an artist?
I think my vision is honest and straightforward. I want to convey a message that everybody can understand, often universal but still personal, through my writings and my photography. Words and images both are art.The joy of words is how easy they are to put together, and because this is easy everyone does it, so when people speak in their own way, they are creating their own art, even if they don’t realise it. I’d like to think everyone can get something out of my work, no matter who they are or where they come from. One of the joys of being an artist is seeing how three different people might take three different meanings from the same picture, text, or painting.
What is new and upcoming for you at the moment and what are your plans and hopes for the near future with Zalando?
I am working on a new book and a new body of work for the new year which I am really excited about. In regards to Zalando, we have a few exciting projects coming along, but nothing I can yet announce!
What is freedom for you?
To me, freedom means being able to think and express myself as I please. This often means changing mediums, from writing, to photography, as well as painting and drawing.