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Pascal Kerouche has been photographing rap stars like Snoop Dogg and Rita Ora in the U.S. for years. Now the Leica photographer is also on the rapper scene in Germany. The Affenfaust Gallery in Hamburg is presenting his work for the second time, in a show running from August 9 to 24, 2019.

LFI:How did you get on the radar of international rap stars?

Pascal Kerouche: I moved to New York directly after finishing school, as I wanted to make a documentary film on the underground hip-hop scene there. I also photographed every one of the artists that I had in front of my film camera. Word got around and I started being asked to do mix tapes and album covers; and at some point I became Snoop Dogg's personal photographer. Considering all the photographers there are in the USA, I have often asked myself, why me? I have no idea, however – maybe because I was always very active.
In the meantime, in addition to Snoop, I have photographed other greats such as DJ Khaled, Tyga and Steve Aoki – who will also be exhibited. Just recently I had Meek Mill in front of my camera for a big project – could even be the biggest project I've done so far. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to show it yet, and I can't say too much about it. In Germany I'm closely connected to the hip-hop band 187 Strassenbande and rapper RAF Camora. It's just fun to work with them, because they're authentic and they're on a similar wavelength to me.

Do you make a distinction between commercial and personal projects?

Not any longer. I'm happy to say that things have developed in such a way that people trust my opinion and leave me a lot of freedom. I enjoy one just as much as the other – so I stand by both. Of course, that's a luxury and it wasn't always like that. It's certainly a nice feeling when you can say that you'll only do what you feel like doing; and I think you can see that in my work and in my approach to the work.

What can we expect to see at the Long Time No See exhibition?

A selection of works from the last years; more individual images than series, that makes sense put together in this way: USA, international artists and a commercial project. In addition there are analogue photographs, and, of course, we can't forget 187 Strassenbande.

Which Leica cameras do you use?

I work with the Leica Q, and recently I had a Q2 for a few days. It's really fun to work with both of those cameras. I'd also like to do something with the M system, but there hasn't been an opportunity yet. (dek)

All images on this page: © Pascal Kerouche
Equipment: Leica Q, Summilux 28 f/1.7$
Snoop Dogg
Steve Aoki
© Olaf Lumma

Pascal Kerouche

Born in Bremervörde in 1983, Kerouche finished school then began a documentary film project based on his love of hip-hop, film and photography. In New York he filmed rappers in the Bronx, but always took pictures of them as well. Consequently, he received increasing numbers of photographic assignments, which now demand the largest portion of his time. Kerouche continues to go on tour with rappers, documenting this sub-culture in his own particular style. He also works on commercial projects in Hamburg, New York and Los Angeles.

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