Elias Wessel
Omahyra Mota Shoot Concept
New York, February 2010

The concept of the Omahyra Mota shoot is based on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". The story has been shoot in New York for the cover of the Norwegian magazine "Vixen" including 4 spreads. The editorial focuses on an article about Dominican Republic supermodel Omahyra Mota.

Mota has modeled for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Heatherette and Jean Paul Gaultier. Also, she was flown in especially by Gwen Stefani for L.A.M.B.'s show during New York's 2005 Fashion Week and had acting roles in X-Men and the Jay-Z video "Change Clothes" together with Naomi Campbell. She is known for modeling both men's and women's clothing. Mota was voted one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people in 2001. She walked the Victoria's Secret runway in the same year and worked with photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth and Terry Richardson.

The Metamorphosis is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century. Elias Canetti described it as "one of the few great and perfect works of the poetic imagination written during this century". The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a vermin.

Elias Wessel story opens with a picture of a crumbled foil he actually used to create distortions which appear in several pictures of the editorial. A visual translation for a facet eye vision of a vermin. Barely to notice but reflections of himself can be found in there. A hint that this could be the perspective of the metamorphosed Omahyra. What's not to see is that there's also a deep personal statement in this photograph dealing with the loss of his father-like friend. Nothing more is mentioned about this connotation so far but interesting about this could be the parallels to Kafka since it is very popular interpreting "The Metamorphosis" as an expression of Kafka's father complex.

The actual cover shows Omahyra barely dressed in a shoulder cage designed by Heather Huey. It appears Omahyra is growing out of her own birdcage. The distortions of her legs create a feeling that something unnatural is happening. The effect was created by shooting partially into mirror foil. Beside visualizing some kind of metamorphosis with this, it also gives the 80's look of the picture a future twist since the effect reminds of digital postproduction filters.

The following photographs use distortions and vermin elements as main element. The insect tatoos on Omahyra's arms, butterfly and hornet pike like headpieces, hoofed and snake leather Louboutin shoes and a top which decor reminds of fly eyes... and in between a pure reflection of Omahyra appearing as a free huge winged bird flying into the open sky.

Talent Omahyra Mota
Photographer Elias Wessel
Vixen Magazine Editors Marianne Jemtegard, Anetter L'Orange
Stylist Storm Pedersen
Hair Yoichi Tomizawa
Make Up for Illamasqua Cosmetics Viktorija Bowers
Photo Assistant Silas Brown
Styling Assistant Adrian Diaz
Hair Assistant Taigo
Making Of Christopher Riemann
Interviewer Kjiersti Flaa
Location Tribeca Skyline Studios
Lighting broncolor

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