Edith Bergfors on Her Inspirations, Downfalls and Why Two Penises are Better Than One

The photography of Edith Bergfors infuses commercial and high fashion photography with searing intimacy. She talked to SLEEK about her favourite projects and upcoming books.

Image from upcoming project released through Ditto Press Image courtesy of Ditto Press/Edith Bergfors

Edith Bergfors’ talent and love for photography was spurred by a discussion with her cynical teacher Mr. C in her homeland of Denmark. She told Sleek, “He strongly advised us against pursuing photography as a career, saying it was too hard to make money from, but I don’t think I listened to him very much.” We’re incredibly grateful Bergfors decided not to heed Mr. C’s advice, as her powerful work stands out in London’s saturated art scene. Her images are striking and powerful, while maintaining a certain tenderness and intimacy. Her projects have ranged from erotic movies in tiny London cinemas to shooting the lookbook for Baron’s NSFW t-shirt project. Bergfors combines a mastery of fashion photography with a knack for capturing her subjects at their most vulnerable, and the London art world is all the richer for it.

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Bergfors regularly collaborates with striking fashion publications, including Baron, Baroness Magazine and Lurve Magazine. Her second collaboration with Baron — inspired by Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia”, is a particular highlight. Bergfors told us that this editorial was the product of a conversation she had with Baron and Baroness founder Matthew Holroyd. “We decided to create a flashback series of images that one might see at the end of an apocalypse,” she explained. “We went through my old archives as well as shooting new material and spent a lot of time editing them together to create that visual narrative.”

Image from Baroness shoot / courtesy of Edith Bergfors

When questioned about whether her work comes from a (buzzword alert) feminist perspective, she responded, ’’I’m not necessarily coming from a feminist direction, though that’s not to say I don’t think men and women should have equal rights!’’ She continued, “I’m generally interested in the remains of traditions and belief systems that are still presenting themselves in contemporary visual culture, and I like to play with these ideas in ways that might seem provocative, but that are also humorous.”

Her most recent shoot for Baroness is a prime example of this. “The idea was to recreate images inspired by the ‘readers wives’ pages of magazines, (in which, traditionally, the male readers of the magazine photograph their wives in kinky situations and have them printed in the back pages). Instead, we imagined the ultimate hunk, who was so excessively attractive because he had not one, but two penises. He was the perfect model for the Baroness, as the idea of the magazine was to flip the power from the male to the female gaze’’.

Image from upcoming project released through Ditto Press Image courtesy of Ditto Press/Edith Bergfors
Image from upcoming project released through Ditto Press Image courtesy of Ditto Press/Edith Bergfors

Bergfors is currently working on two books: “The Death Book”, and a second unnamed project, which most of the images in this article are drawn from. This project “functions as a portrait of my relationship with my now-wife Anna, who is transgender and was presenting as a male when we first met.” With such an intimate body of work, it makes sense that Bergfors has turned her lens on the most intimate and vulnerable parts of her own life; and the results, as you can see, are blisteringly tender.

Both are due to be imminently published through Baron and Ditto, respectively. Take a look at her portfolio of work on her website, and visit her Instagram for a more intimate view of the photographer and her life.

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