Contemporary watch brand Greyhours and photographer Tom Hoops have joined forces to launch Wild Dogs in Paris – a new platform to help fund and showcase independent artists’ imaginative work.
For a lot of photographers and artists, working both commercially and editorially, it’s very unusual to be given the freedom to create what they want. When it comes to making a living, there are endless hoops to jump through that often involve sacrificing your artistic vision. Wild Dogs in Paris was formed to be a platform to explore those stories and projects where that freedom still exists.
Watch brand Greyhours have been driven by a desire to build a culture where artists are free to dream and create. Olivier Kraff, the co-founder and lead art director of the company was inspired by the memory of a solo photo trip he took in Bolivia in his early years which was cut short due to insufficient funding.
The Wild Dogs in Paris concept was derived from a working relationship between Greyhours founder, Emrah Yuceer and photographer Tom Hoops, who has worked with the likes of Vogue, Porter and Harper’s Bazaar. We caught up with the pair to talk about this exciting new project.
What made you decide to start this collaboration?
Emrah: Tom is an incredible human being. When he introduced his idea of a platform for independent creatives, it just made a lot of sense. We’re an independent watchmaker trying to do things differently but with care. We felt that we had a lot of things in common and that, especially today with the overflow of information and visual standardisation of almost everything. We wanted to cut through the noise and present things that felt more authentic. And that’s what we’re doing with Greyhours and what Tom’s doing with Wild Dogs in Paris.
What about photography excites you compared to other mediums?
Tom: There’s little scope to move beyond the image captured on film, so the challenge really is to make it interesting in some way. Everyone can relate to photography, we see it everywhere all the time. The exciting challenge is to make work that stands out from the crowd, work that makes people think or simply makes people feel. Those photographers that produce work that can elevate the medium excite us.
How important is collaboration to brands, artists and the wider creative community?
Tom: I think it’s important for brands to seek out creatives that fit and then allow them to do their thing. When this happens stronger projects/campaigns can come out of it. Wild Dogs in Paris was inspired by this Helmut Newton quote:
“People gave us everything for free. We were allowed only so much film per picture, but there was no limit to the creativity. I like to say that they let us loose like wild dogs in the streets of Paris.”
The best collaborations I have seen have been true to the artists personal work, and have been guided rather than dictated to by the brands requirements. In terms of collaboration with the wider creative community, I believe very interesting work can come from communities who drive each other through encouragement and competition.
How would you describe the mixture of photography on Wild Dogs?
Tom: Ultimately they are stories/projects that are driven by the individual, projects that have the freedom given when there isn’t a team of people making decisions. We have both digital and film projects, small projects and longer term projects. It’s an eclectic mix of personal projects, often subversive, polished yet gritty, and horribly beautiful. A place where experiments have a place and a place where we can showcase the unusual a little bit.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing creatives right now?
Tom: The industry is saturated, everyone has the tools and there is a perceived “ease” to photography in particular. Standing out amongst the crowd especially with work which has integrity, by artists who have laboured over their projects is increasingly difficult. Fees are relatively lower and there is less emphasis placed on the vision of the creator than perhaps there used to be. Some clients/brands overly manage projects and stifle creativity in pursuit of perfection. Having said that, I think there hasn’t been a better time for creatives to find the right channels to get their work noticed and have their work seen by more people. It’s all about dedication, passion and skill.
What’s next for Wild Dogs?
Tom: We are a new platform so expanding our reach and publishing new and exciting projects is key. Right now we are working on commissioning exclusive projects and collaborations, as well as supporting emerging photographers through our grants scheme. Moving forward we plan to exhibit and produce books and short run monographs of some of the featured work.
Learn more about Wild Dogs in Paris
Discover Greyhours watches
View more photography from Tom Hoops