Before her analogic Nikon camera everything is thought out in detail, studied and manipulated, from make up to clothes. Eroticism and elegance share the same atmosphere, and so do gothic and fetish elements. There´s also a kind of theatrical flair present in her photos.
“I stopped being looked at and started to observe”, says the 75 years old French photographer, who has been dancer, tamer of snakes and target of a knives launcher, when she was young.
She started shooting after an accident that made her give up on dance. The biggest controversy brought up about her work was a photo shooting of her daughter Eva Ionesco. Eva was photographed by her mother from 4 to 12 years old; between the decades of 70´s and 80´s. Irina stopped photographing Eva when she became a teenager, because the girl has “lost” her childhood essence, which was the focus on her special look to the photos. Eva became an actress and film director; she made her debut as an actress for the famous director Romain Polanski, in The Tenant. The relationship with her mother and the many photographs in which she appears became the theme of the movie “My little princess”, that Eva directed herself.
“Photography to me is essentially poetic, I see it as a theatrical writing, which I fixed in an obsessive and incessant running of all my fantasies”. “I like excesses, dreams of unusual” . Says the incredible Irina Ionesco.
Irina Ionesco (born on September 3, 1935) is a French photographer born in Paris, France. She was the daughter of Romanian immigrants. She spent her childhood years inConstanţa, Romania before she moved to Paris. She traveled and painted for several years before discovering photography. Her work is described as erotic. In 1974 she exhibited some of her work at the Nikon Gallery in Paris and attracted lots of attention. She was soon published in numerous magazines, books, and featured at galleries across the globe.
Irina Ionesco is perhaps most famous for her photographs showcasing her young daughter, Eva. The nudes she created with Eva stirred major controversy, as many were shot showcasing the young girl in artsy, erotic situations similar to the work she did with her other, much older subjects. A major part of Irina’s work features lavishly dressed women, decked out in jewels, gloves, and other finery, but also adorning themselves with symbolic pieces such as chokers and other fetishistic props, posing provocatively, offering themselves partially disrobed as objects of sexual possession.