Pixel Cafe and Chucky Garcia are just fun, ladies and gentlemen. And good people, too. Perhaps it’s the joy in which they work – the unpretentious, un-serious, un self-important manner in which they go about their photography. Or maybe it’s the family/community feel to their photo shoots. Whatever it is, it’s hugely enjoyable.
A fantastic tough/tender/beautiful/kaleidoscopic mixture of American and German culture, Pixel Cafe work out of a small atelier in the German city of Cologne. Chucky, their friend and regular partner in crime, is a perfect muse for the talents of Luiza and Thorsten Brack – the owners and photographers at Pixel Cafe.
Pixel Cafe’s work mostly covers classic American and European cars, and pin-up, vintage and fetish photography.
It’s a cool mish-mash of beauty and mechanized ruggedness. I’ve always loved classic American cars myself, especially the 1968 Mustang GT, but I think it’s their work with their pin-up models that I love the most.
Chucky Garcia, with her short hair (and sometimes shaved head) always manages to look beautiful inside and out. Her flowing and exotic tattoos seem to increase with every shoot she does. I think she has a whole world running down the length of her legs! Something I love about Chucky is that she has this ‘how did I get here’ look of innocence to her. She’s the Alice in this story to Pixel Cafe’s Rabbit. Pop culture is the playground in which they all adventure. Only this one is just a little more devious and wicked.
Pixel Cafe also have fun with their other models such as Gospozha, Monka M, Jasmin, and Kathrin. All of them have such unique looks and faces. Every picture seems to be so original. Good eyes, Luiza and Thorsten, good eyes.
So those are the main players. What about the work?
Pixel Cafe’s photography work is tough without being macho, stylish without being fashionable, dark without being depressing, and it’s arty without being pretentious. It’s fine art with a dirty, greasy, denim and leather-clad rockabilly twist. You can smell and feel the oil in their work.
In short, it’s a badass cocktail in a sexy bar in a bad part of town. You know the type of place … just fucking fun with a big fat F.
Something I love is how Pixel Cafe really explore English and American pop and rockabilly culture – they seem to be furiously inquisitive about it. They’re like a twenty-five year old woman trying on leather or latex for the first time. What fits, what doesn’t. What they can and can’t do. They’re up for photographing anything, and everything they do has the feel of a fun and experimental odyssey to it. They take chances and are daring. Being successful (which they are) doesn’t come into it. Doing is much better than thinking.
Their pin-up work wouldn’t look out of place in a 1950s Californian hot rod garage, or even on a billboard on L.A.’s Sunset Blvd. It really is that exciting. And their partnership with Chucky Garcia is probably one of the best model/photographer relationships I’ve seen.
Pixel Cafe and Chucky Garcia not only warm my heart – they also put a little lust in my leather boots.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Luiza Brack and Pixel Cafe Cologne.
How long have you and Thorsten been photographers? And how did Pixel Cafe start?
Since 2009 when we started with American Cars. In 2010 we moved to a small basement room without a view in an old factory and started with some people doing photography. With this community we met a lot of tattooed and crazy people. In 2011 we moved to our actual atelier and hope to stay there for a long time. We grow with the challenges all the time.
Who makes up the Pixel Cafe team?
My husband and myself. There are also a lot of people around us who do many things like styling, cooking, cleaning and supporting us with a lot of friendship and love.
What kind of photography work do you do?
Pin-Up/ Vintage, Tattoo, Street Art, a bit of Fetish, and American cars – we love them! We do also love classic European cars as well.
I love the models you use for your work. Where/how did you find great models like Chucky Garcia? How much fun are they to work with?
Thank you! We also love them. To work with them is always good and funny, because they really know what they want and the most important thing: they also know what they don´t want. What we love about them is that they are not perfect and that fact makes them beautiful.
Your fetish and pin-up photos are excellent and I think they bring a new twist to the genres. How do you go about doing these shoots and working with the models?
Thank you! I hope some other will share your words to the world 🙂
How we do, well it always depends on things like whim, weather, model and time to shoot. In the wintertime we always have more time, because the girls don´t go wild. Stylists and other friends with support also have more time and the shooting always begins with the light test. After this the idea is born 🙂 We rarely have exact fixed ideas or specifications.
Your work has such a cool rock ‘n’ roll feel to it. Has anyone ever asked you to do an album cover? Would you like to do that in the future?
Thank you again! Unfortunately we haven’t shot a cover, but a lot of other jobs. The range is very wide. People see great work and will see it with its face on it.
What excites you about art and photography? And what challenges you?
I love the artistic painting, but I can´t paint. My husband loves photography and I tried it with him. I was convinced that the most important thing in photography is not the most expensive camera but to see the motive and to imagine how it looks. I only see the success when the picture is printed.
What have you got coming up next?
It would be very fine to do an exhibition one day. There´s a new project: Tarot, I – XXII. With this we hope to do an exhibition. The shootings will start in 2016 and I’m looking forward to do it! We will do it with an another photographer.
Pixel Café grows every year with all people around us. In real life we go to work and look forward to weekend full of photography, cars and creativity.