Benjamin Voortmans is nineteen years old and he is the creator behind @judassime. Born in Chicago and currently living in Antwerp, he studied arts in Brussels, partly fashion in secondary school and he began his photography studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, studies that he would stop after half a year. His work pushes the boundaries of gender, reality and Transhumanism.
Irreverent, punk, and extra are key words to describe the imaginary of this talented creator.
- You started photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp but you weren’t satisfied with the approach this school had, What are art schools missing in their programs?
I started in Saint Lucas in Antwerp in photography, and to be honest I don’t like and agree with the program of all art school and the all Royal academy. I think what we are missing in art schools in Belgium is that the teacher first of all are too subjective, they have their own visions and don’t want to open for more experimental stuff. Besides that the system is missing that art / fashion is first of all a passion and a lot of fun and we are getting into this mindset of being so stressed and strict about everything and every detail without letting the real talent of a person emerge. We need to be more free and learning the technical part is really important of course but after that we should be free to let ourselves jump into creativity and in our own world and not what the teacher are expecting.
- How did you started to become interested in fashion?In the beginning I just wanted to do architecture in secondary school but then years past and my passion for art and clothes grew and I wanted to go more in the visual and direct art form and I always was a bit special in the way I dressed myself so was attracted to try fashion in secondary in Brussels, then I fond my new passion and I directly new I needed to continue in that direction. It was a logical way to express myself because fashion is the architecture around the body, and its regrouping so much work that interest me like, drawing, photography, show,.. its a compilation of different visual art.
- What fashion means to you?Fashion is my all expression for the moment I really enjoy making clothes for me or for people to be themselves and be powerful, I am creating myself trough fashion and I see that as a performance of your life, I am creating who I want to become with fashion. I can freely express what I want and what I feel, my visual work and the creation of my universe is in fashion and photography mostly.
- How do you start to confection your clothes? Do you have a modus operandi?I started to confection my clothes because I am bored of what they sell in shops nowadays and I don’t go shopping anymore so I went creating my own closet. I let my creativity drive myself. Sometimes the fabric inspired what am I gonna do or sometimes I draw the shapes and then the fabrics come after. For the new collection that is coming soon I began with a theme and from there on I create the all universe around it. So it really depends on my inspiration and what I want to create, I don’t really have a module for my creation, I let the inspiration come to me.
- In your work you play with the boundaries of gender and also push the limits of the human body, is this a representation of how you see yourself?I love to push the limits in general for sure, I love exploring a new me everyday and creating around that. I try to see myself as someone free that have a lot more to experiment and I discover myself little by little. I don’t like to focus to much on gender and all of this I just let myself go and work freely and I honestly don’t know how I see myself because every day my emotions and myself are changing so fast, I just try to be as me as I can.
- To whom are your clothes directed too?I want to direct my clothes to people that want to experience an other side of themselves and that want to be free in the way they look. People that care about how they consume and think about the mass consumption that is created by the fashion industry. I direct my clothes to the person that feel repressed by the society and want to be themselves and powerful in the way they present and see themselves. The person that is different and deserves to express trough my creations. I also want to direct my clothes for singers/ stars/ shows/ theater/...
- Your work combines digital and physical pieces, How this two worlds collide?I think both are complementary, I love to create clothes, makeup, scenes and set to shoot but I also love the art of editing and create a new world by moving, cutting, deforming. I inspire myself from my digital work for my physical work and vise versa. I think at both views at the same time when I create.
- Do you consider your work political?Yes, I think that I am inspiring myself from the misery that this planet is going trough and I want to talk about it trough my art. I want to use my voice to spread a important message and I will keep on doing art to open the mindset and open new conversations about the world and the visions of our future. I am also really inspired by the stupidity of human being in general, the political states of today is really pushing us to push even further in the other way and push boundaries of what’s a society and what is it to be a human being today.
- Where do you see yourself in the future?I actually don’t know, I could see myself anywhere really because everyday I’m evolving and I’m growing trough my art and passion. I would like to see and do so much that the choice is open to go anywhere but I definitely see myself working for my own self/ company and being independent in my work life or choice.