On Rafael Mantesso’s thirtieth birthday, his wife left him. She took their cookware, their furniture, their photos, their decorations. She left Rafael alone in an empty all-white apartment. The only thing she didn’t take was their bull terrier, whom she’d named after her favourite shoe designer: Jimmy Choo.
With only Jimmy for company, Rafael found inspiration in his blank walls and his best friend and started snapping photos of Jimmy Choo as he trotted and cavorted around the house in glee. Then, when Jimmy collapsed in happy exhaustion next to the white wall, on a whim Rafael grabbed a marker and drew a new world around his ginger-eared pup. Suddenly, Rafael felt his long-dormant inspiration—for drawing, for art, for life—returning. The whimsical drawings starring Mantesso’s bull terrier attracted the world’s attention, with the images broadcast across global media.
Today Rafael is a world renowned artist with hundreds of thousands of followers in the social media world, having his work represented at Tate Gallery London. He is the 2016 Webby Award Winner and his works have been, among many others, featured in Vogue, The Times, Harper Bazaar, USA Today, The Huffington Post.
Exhibited in – Tate Modern Gallery London 2016
People’s Choice Winner – Webby Awards 2016
Gold Winner – W3 Awards 2016
Featured in – The Times, Vogue, Today, The Huffington Post, USA Today, The Times, Harper’s Bazaar
Q & A
How would you describe your photographic style? Do you set any rules when you shoot?
￼I do not consider myself a photographer. I’m an artist that uses a camera to produce artwork.
￼Yes, today my rule is my white background and no shadows and a mix of photos and illustra-
Any photographers you particularly admire?
Sebastiao salgado, David la Chapelle, Chema Madoz and Vik Muniz
What inspires you to shoot?
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Try to deliver your message without caps, ￼subtitles or titles.
Where do you currently live and work?
What did you study – and how I got into photography?
I learned photography by myself. That is the reason that I don’t know how to use 100% of my camera. I just learned how to use the specifics set￼tings that I needed to do my artwork.
Please finish these sentences:
I can’t live without… Jimmy
My greates inspiration in the world is… Jimmy
I will never forget… Jimmy