The Sock Monster

In the photo:  Jihoon Jo
 
 
 

Imke Ligthart is a formerly Amsterdam-based creator, currently leading a nomadic lifestyle. Imke is an artist active in a variety of disciplines, a photographer, a creative director, a painter, and a performing artist. Imke seems to have found the fragile balance between producing pieces of different forms of art and enjoying to the fullest the peaceful moments from having a picnic on the roof to planning and traveling around the world. She stays mindful of the surroundings, observing nature, bringing it forward in her works.

Imke's photography gives a strong presence to nature, emphasizing its state of being alive while adding it as an additional layer to the narrative she creates. The sea and the beaches, elegant parks and quiet rivers, rough mountains, and rock formations, bring in the palette of colors and remind us of the human relation to nature, a topic Imke construes and comes back to throughout her works.

 

Splashes of color, the contrast between the stillness of natural elements and the movement of characters seizes the senses and motivates going outside and experience. People in Imke’s photos are an integral part of this world, an extension to the beautiful scenery with their own stories, full of life, exploring.

Imke worked with clients like Volkskrant Magazine -V Special, NRC Next -Handelsblad, De Correspondent, Vrij Nederland, H&M, Samsung, and many others.

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 

‘I MADE A FANCY BREAKFAST, HAD A PICNIC ON THE ROOF OF MY HOUSE, READ A BOOK, AND NOW I AM ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW’

 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 

In the interview, we speak about Imke’s love for improvisation, her work on the Socks projects, her decision to get away from city life, even if for the time being, her work with Duran Lantik and Haverkamp. Imke also reveals some of her plans for several months ahead.

 
 

Hi Imke, how is it going? What are you up to today?

Not very much today to be honest. I woke up late because I worked until late as a performer with a group of friends. I made a fancy breakfast, had a picnic on the roof of my house, read a book, and now I am answering this interview. Later I will cook and sleep on my boyfriend's boat. 

Tell us about how your usual day looks like.

Actually, all my usual days look great. I’m living a very free life. At the moment I live in a weird house in nature, in Spain, together with a lot of musicians. My boyfriend has his sailing boat and often we go out sailing and swimming. In about a week, I will go for some time to Formentera to live on the beach doing an artist in residence. After that, I will go for a month to Jordan living the desert life on a horse. After this, I'll go for a month to Amsterdam, and after Amsterdam, I will live on the boat in Barcelona. My usual days are very different but close to nature with a lot of adventures and fun.

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 
 

In Cécile, you explore the psychedelic 70s with the hypnotic prints and the haircut with the brow-skimming bangs and blonde hair. What is your favorite decade? What are the main elements that intrigue you about it?

Wow, that’s a very old series actually! It's probably the 70’s and the 80’s in which people experimented, breaking the rules. Also, the fact that it’s a time before digital technologies and the internet, makes this time a big plus for me.

What is the most exciting part in shooting fashion stories, the development of the idea, the challenges to solve during the shooting day, or the post-production?

Definitely the challenges to solve during the shooting day. I love to improvise and to play to come to unexpected results, although many times, I love to work out a clear concept that I have in mind. I try to stay away from post-production to avoid time sitting behind the computer. I love the raw outcome.

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
Photography  Joanna Legid  Talents  Ebi ,  Steph    &  Romuald  Styling & Production  Anna Baur  MUA  Victoria Reuter  shot for the Radical Soft issue of  Blonde Magazine
 
 
 

‘I LOVE TO IMPROVISE AND TO PLAY TO COME TO UNEXPECTED RESULTS, ALTHOUGH MANY TIMES, I LOVE TO WORK OUT A CLEAR CONCEPT THAT I HAVE IN MIND’

 

In Cécile, you explore the psychedelic 70s with the hypnotic prints and the haircut with the brow-skimming bangs and blonde hair. What is your favorite decade? What are the main elements that intrigue you about it?

Wow, that’s a very old series actually! It's probably the 70’s and the 80’s in which people experimented, breaking the rules. Also, the fact that it’s a time before digital technologies and the internet, makes this time a big plus for me.

What is the most exciting part in shooting fashion stories, the development of the idea, the challenges to solve during the shooting day, or the post-production?

Definitely the challenges to solve during the shooting day. I love to improvise and to play to come to unexpected results, although many times, I love to work out a clear concept that I have in mind. I try to stay away from post-production to avoid time sitting behind the computer. I love the raw outcome.

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 
 

‘PEOPLE WERE COMING AND LAUGHING ALL THE TIME AND TELLING ME LATER THAT IT'S COOL THAT THE SUBJECT WAS SO ACCESSIBLE AND CANDID’

Tell about the exhibition of the project in Warsaw and the preparation for it. What were the memorable questions or comments you got then? 

It was exhibited as a part of the series of exhibitions organised by Warsaw young artists collective called BAS. Curator Misia Sobieraj asked me if I have something that I want to show and I've shared this funny series that she loved. People were coming and laughing all the time and telling me later that it's cool that the subject was so accessible and candid.

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 
 

‘I SEE AMSTERDAM A BIT LIKE A VILLAGE, BUT OF COURSE, IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR OWN MINDSET. FOR NOW, I LEFT AMSTERDAM BECAUSE I GOT A BIT TIRED OF CITY LIFE’

 

You took part in one of the issues of Ordinary Magazine, conceptualized by Max Siedentopf and Yuki Kappes, Issue 4 Socks, in which the seemingly ordinary piece of clothing is approached from different creative perspectives. Tell about this project, how did you receive an offer to participate, and the idea for the photo you have contributed to this issue.  

Max is a friend of a friend, he saw my pictures and sent me an invite for the project. A sock was sent to me, and immediately I thought about ‘the sock monster.’ We all know this problem of missing socks for unexplainable reasons, my mom always said that the sock monster must have gotten them. There you go.

Who was the most memorable professor during your studies? What was special about him or his method of teaching?

Nobody from my Photography department really comes to my mind even although, if I have to I would like to mention Edel Verzijl with her motivating approach and Jean Jack for his humorous being, and hip shots. There was a teacher from the Fine Arts department, I had a much better understanding than with most of the photography teachers, there was more freedom to explore, and fewer limitations.

How would you describe Amsterdam from a creative perspective? Is it easy to connect with other photographers and be a part of the fashion scene? 

Amsterdam is great for that! Many of my friends in Amsterdam are photographers or other creatives. I see Amsterdam a bit like a village, but of course, it all depends on your own mindset. For now, I left Amsterdam because I got a bit tired of city life, full agendas with nothing and the idea that ‘you have to be something, otherwise you don’t count.’

 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 
 

Tell about the Pairs Project, work with Duran Lantik and Das Leben am Haverkamp brand.

For this series, I had to choose a designer, borrow clothes and do the styling myself to shoot one roll of film and send this to the magazine. They developed the film, and this got published. I could choose a designer to work with for this series, and the choice to go with Duran and Haverkamp was easy to make since I’m close to both brands and their philosophy.

Duran - his collection was inspired by South African transgender sex workers living under a bridge, which gave me the idea to shoot this series in an Amsterdam bush where many gay men come for having secret sex. It was a bit of a dirty place actually, very fun to shoot!

For Das Leben am Haverkamp I went to a very conservative village called Katwijk, the birth town of one of the designers. I translated it into ‘Welcome to Cathood’, and brought some queerness into this place.

One of the recurring themes in your works is nature while you create a contrast between the beautiful, saturated natural environment and the person who exists in it, uninterrupting it. What fascinates you about nature and what is important for you in the symbolism you create? 

Human vs. Nature has always been my biggest fascination, the way we as humans treat the world and how we look at it and move in it. How human interruptions become a new (fake) nature in many different ways. But also what can we do to connect back to nature, learn from it, and listen to it.

 
 
 
 
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
Imke_Ligthart_by_WUL_Magazine_23.jpg
 
Imke Ligthart by WUL Magazine
 
 
 

Name two fashion designers who inspire you or whose latest collections left you speechless. 

Duran Lantink and Duran Lantink. I’m a fan of his work and a way of working. He has no problem with cutting CHANEL in pieces to create a new piece out of it. In his latest collection, he is using old stock material to make a new collection. He recycles and is critical of society. On top of this, he is 100% his own and always original.

What concerns you the most?

Overconsumption in this world, the fashion industry, brainwashed minds.

What’s next?  

Tomorrow.



Check out WÜL interview with Max Siedentopf and JP Bonino on their mutual project the Banana Book here