Maya Villiger is a photographer of integrity and dedication, whose principal subjects are interesting looking and hip girls found on the streets of New York, Paris, London and LA. Her portraits sometimes remind me of watercolours or photorealist paintings, and eschews drama of subject or treatment. She has chosen a difficult path, and one which already attracts a lot of competition, particularly dominated by men. I’ve been a huge fan of her work for a long time and not just because she is a friend. She quietly and immediately discovers the most unfailingly stylish characters, demonstrating not only impressive technical achievements but also the rare ability to grasp the distinction between mediocre and the simultaneously inspiring and stylish. Her photographs are soft, its aim residing in the subtlest differentiations of tone and placing. Her compositions are always exquisite subjects for contemplation. The lighting is a significant factor in her work and always delicately establishes the atmosphere. I’ve seldom seen street style pictures so full of truth and humour while at the same time giving you refreshing and beautiful imagery. That alone is amazing. I’ve never seen her at work so I don’t know what her approach is or how she shoots but there is no shortage of difficulties when you embark on a project like hers. Her strengths ensure that ideas dominate and take shape perfectly from the moment they were first formulated. Many of her contemporaries don’t provide the same emotion and perfection, they don’t master their material like she does and lack the sureness of her touch and her unique, consistently scintillating compositions. I guess they have a predisposition to take stale and tiresome snapshots whereas she puts together stunningly beautiful scenes. Her alchemy has worked on me. I treasure many of her images and at the risk of sounding like a complete teenager, I’ll even tell you that several of her photos can be found cellotaped on the inside doors of my wardrobe. Nuggets of inspiration and style!
All pictures courtesy of Turned Out