Gaze by Ashish Gupta
The publication by Ashish Gupta features 365 intimate and sometimes provocative photographs, one for each day of the year. When viewed as a whole, the images are a diaristic object celebrating queer desire. Although the photographs have an intimate and relaxed quality, each contains formal considerations, with plays of colour and form.
Best known for his eponymous fashion label, this project marks an exciting departure from Ashish’s usual creative process. The photographs have been taken over the last few years, in various locations including Antwerp, Delhi, London, New York and Paris. Ashish sees the process of taking photos as “a kind of diary.” He explains, “I always wanted to take photographs but only started about five years ago when I got a camera for my birthday. It became a secret hobby, and I never showed them to anyone.” This illicit energy charges the images and creates intriguing resonances though their juxtapositions and pairings.
Featuring 365 original photographs printed in full colour, the work becomes a powerful and intimate document of gay desire. Ashish explains his subject matter as, “a collection of images that are full of joy, humour, longing , desire, (and more than a little feeling of tenderness) about sex and sexiness. It’s also about about exploring images of sexuality and masculinity, but not just the type of images that we tend to see in the mainstream of gay culture.”
About the designer
Synonymous with glamour, maximalist design and ornate hand-embellishment, creative activist Ashish Gupta has injected his vibrant colour and personality in to the London fashion scene since being discovered by Browns Focus in 2001. Originally from Delhi (India), where he studied fine art before moving to London for an MA in fashion design at Central Saint Martins, Ashish's work considers politically-charged messages and social landscapes via hand embroidery and artisan tradition.
The London-based designer - a pioneering voice in an industry continually questioning its approach to diversity - has grown his eponymous label from winning the prestigious NEWGEN award three times, to being exhibited in the V&A and The Met. Ashish blurs the lines between sports and glamour, detritus and deluxe, couture and ready-to-wear. Luke Leitch, for Vogue Runway: "Gupta is a designer who, sadly, has sometimes felt ahead of his time. But not a minute too soon, our time might at last be catching up with him... a designer whom we can all be proud of."
Published 2019 by House of Voltaire