Experimenting with photography at the age of sixteen captivated Kito Muñoz @kito.munoz so much that he has built an entire and really successful career from his passion and his innate talent. That teenager whose world was the internet has now become one of the most important emerging talents in the creative industry. In addition to his innate talent, he also worked really hard to achieve his dreams.
Breaking the rules of what society advises teenagers to do, to follow the same path as the rest of the people, Kito decided to follow his heart and his passion and do what he loved. Jut to keep creating amazing pieces of art. At his age, he has already achieved really amazing things, shooting campaigns for Valentino, Emporio Armani, or Palomo Spain, and photographing Rosalía or Naty Peluso.
“I think I have realized what I love without thinking about it but without stopping doing it. It was not a job, it was doing something fulfilling. The school was not. Where I once lived was not either. In the end, my world was the internet. What I created was the only thing that I truly loved and it was the light to escape to something different, so I worked really really hard in what was innate to me.”Kito Muñoz
Kito Muñoz has captivated the whole world with his amazing work and his approach to fashion photography combined with references to erotism, art, homoerotic photography, and personal stories. Vanity Teen had the incredible opportunity of interviewing him to ask him every detail about his work, his life, and many other topics.
Before starting, I would like to thank you for your interest in our magazine, it is an honor interviewing you for Vanity Teen. I would also like to express my admiration for your work and for your attitude, for everything you have achieved at your age, and for the bright future that awaits you.
Q: I am really fascinated by your aesthetic, but I would like to start from the beginning. I would like to know more about your origins, biographically speaking and career-wise. Could you tell us a little bit about who is Kito Muñoz, your studies, and your interests?
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity of being included in your magazine. It is really special for me to be interviewed by you because I remember we chatted some time ago when I was starting in this industry. It brings me such good memories to speak with you!
I am from Chiclana, Cádiz, Spain. I have always loved taking photographs and videos since I was a little boy, very linked to the internet, sharing, creating websites and blogs with my photos. I have spent and I am still spending so many hours in front of the screen! I started working on my photos when I was sixteen years old while studying. When I finished high school I just continued working hard in my photography without doing any university degree, and here I am at twenty-three.
Q: Having studied arts in high school I guess you have come into contact with a lot of artistic expressions, artistic movements, and ways of expressing yourself. Why did you choose photography as the means to express your art instead of any other artistic discipline?
A: The truth is that even though I studied arts and those two years were super fun, my decision of choosing photography is not related to my studies. It was caused by the time I spent at home with my computer, with my friends, creating music, clothing, filming videos, painting, playing with dolls when I was little. I have always loved creating things, sharing them, and photographing people. Those are some of the things that make me feel more satisfied and what I think I do best because I am not too talented with the rest of the things haha. But I continue trying a lot of things that do not see the light.
Q: How did you first come in contact with photography and what made you fall in love with it?
A: I remember it was with a foldable phone which had a camera which I was given to me as a present. I took my first selfie with the back camera on a giant orange football ball that I won at an amusement park. I really loved that photo because it was really graphic, with a huge orange stain on top of my head in perspective. I really got obsessed with it, and I think that is the moment I started having fun taking photos and filming videos of my dolls in different settings and sharing them on the internet. That led to taking photos of my friends on rooftops, later on, more intimate photos to my boyfriends, more editorial projects with boys from my town, and so on.
Q: Your work mainly focuses on fashion photography but I am sure that you have also experimented with other genres. Why did you decide to focus on fashion photography? Which other genres would you like to develop?
I have always felt the need to include bodies in my photography. I have been finding myself, doing and learning what I like and what I dislike, and I am still learning of course. I remember that when I was little I planned a photoshoot in Cádiz every weekend with my friends. We would carry a suitcase packed with clothing, we would look for a rooftop or any other location and with any camera, we could find we would just start posing. I was not attracted to landscapes, I have always liked to pose and I have always loved fashion. I think I have realized what I love without thinking about it but without stopping doing it. It was not a job, it was doing something fulfilling. The school was not. Where I once lived was not either. In the end, my world was the internet. What I created was the only thing that I truly loved and it was the light to escape to something different, so I worked really really hard in what was innate to me.
Later on in my life, when I grew up, I became a fashion addict and I became interested in homoerotic photography. I adore reading books about it and investigating more about it. Now my ideas arise from joining fashion and erotism inspired by old homoerotic photos. Anyway, talking about photographic genres, I am now enjoying doing more details.
Q: I fathom from your amazing talent that your abilities are practically innate for your artistic sensibility, for your incredible aesthetics, and for your references to the art world. What does art mean to you and how important it is in your job and in your personal life?
A: Thank you so much! For me, art is really personal and individualistic. Each person experiments it in different ways, everyone experiments with different emotions when seeing a piece of art, and I think that is fascinating!
Q: Sensuality, nakedness, and skin are some of the resources you use the most in your photography. How has your creative process evolved to the point of reaching this current concept?
A: I started when I was sixteen years old photographing my first boyfriend in the bathtub, wrapped in sheets, having breakfast naked at home. Without knowing it, those situations clicked in my mind and I started to become interested in homoerotic photography and its history, with Vicenzo Galdi, George Platt Lynes, Bob Mizer, and many others.
Now that I have full creative freedom in my projects, I like to suggest confusing ideas. I like people to stare at my work and think: “Is that a fashion campaign or a magazine cover from the ‘70s? Or is it an extract of a movie, or the behind the scenes of a porn movie?” Anything but a conventional fashion photograph. It usually has to do with erotic imagery, but it is nothing personal or private. Actually, it is exactly the opposite. I do it to create strong content which highlights the product and the goal of the project. For me, it is really important to separate your personal life and your work, and above all when there is nudity. Even when I started experimenting with my boyfriend photographing him, those photos were carefully thought out.
Q: In the most recent projects you have created for Palomo Spain, Mans, or Valentino I can sense a subtle, delicate and sophisticated erotism. What inspires you to create these types of projects?
A: I think that sometimes I get inspired by situations in which I myself feel sexy haha.
Q: Your creations have very complex compositions, with a lot of models, diverse points of view, various poses, a lot of movement, incredible lighting and coloring very close to the cinema aesthetics, and a lot more. How do you manage to bring those ideas to life? What do you do to carry out those ideas to make them as you imagined them?
I owe that to my team, the best team in the world. My team and my friends who always support me. Luca, Curro, Alex, Padu my illuminator, Vicente, Xoxoni, Vicente Guijarro, Elias, Candela, Ivan, a lot of people who help me with everything. And the models have a lot of patience too, technicians… there is a lot of people involved behind the camera.
Q: What I find interesting about your work are your ideas. I would love to know how do you come up with those brilliant ideas, so rare and so unique to create such pieces of art which make them really original and creative.
A: I listen to music, I watch movies or photos that I save, I do some research about the project and about the brand and I think about something strong or even sometimes I just comment a random idea with my friends, then I get excited about it or we laugh for how ground-breaking that idea might be, sometimes even almost crossing limits, obsession, madness, and confusion. I do not intend to surprise people, but if I do I prefer to do something that makes me happy.
Q: You have worked with Filip Custic, a marvelous artist who everyone knows for being the creator of Rosalia’s imagery for her album El Mal Querer and having won a Latin Grammy for it, as well as many other breathtaking pieces and exhibitions. How did this period of time working with him influence you and how did you both develop yourselves together?
A: Yes, that was a very important period. We were both at the same moment of our lives finishing our studies, a little bit lost with a lot of prejudices towards how the world worked, thinking that the best photographer was the one with the best camera and that who knew more. We stopped thinking about that, we joined forces and we created the project FILIP & KITO where almost every week we would create a project. In the beginning, we worked with clothing from Chiclana’s street market, but two years after that we started getting published in magazines, doing campaigns for Delpozo, Palomo, and other crazy projects. I truly remember that moment with lots of love and joy. This project launched us to the professional world and we learned the basics of how to work, and more importantly, we learned how we liked to work. But with perseverance and hard work, everything worked out. Filip <3
Q: You have also photographed Rosalía, Naty Peluso, or Bad Gyal. How is it like working with such big artists like them and how are those moments working with them?
A: It is a dream! All of them in their own essence are queens with really clear ideas and a huge inner world. If you learn from them and listen to them and if they like your work, which I am lucky to say that they do love my work, the results can be really interesting! I hope to keep growing like them and doing so many more projects.
Q: I have seen that you usually work with the same team on different projects. Do you think it is important to have a team that accompanies you in every project or do you think it is better to have different teams depending on the type of project you are working in? Was it hard for you to find your team?
A: I believe that each project asks for changes in your own team. I like to work with different stylists, makeup artists, hairdressers, there is a lot of talented people. However, it is true that I repeat quite a lot, but for example, working with Luca Guarini is a dream, he surprises me every time.
Q: Besides your job, what makes you want to get out of bed each morning? What makes you happy every time you open your eyes and what inspires you in your daily life?
A: I really love my home in Madrid, which I share with Enero and Curro. Also my photography books, I love food, having breakfast. But what truly makes me happy and gives me life is my work really. I am a workaholic!
Q: I know this is a tough question but, which is your favorite photograph and why?
A: It usually depends on the day, but I have been thinking a lot lately about the photo of Mario Testino in which a body is doing a handstand wearing high heels and underwear. I am more of Meisel but that photo seems perfect to me.
Q: Forward-looking, which other projects are you working on now or what would you love to do in the near future? Which of your dreams are still unfulfilled?
A: A lot! I will do more videos, music videos, I will do more international projects out of Spain… There are a lot of things coming!
Q: To conclude, which piece of advice could you give to the emerging talent, to those who want to start the exciting artist’s journey, to those who want to make a living from their passion who look up to artists like you?
A: What I would tell them is that if at least they know what they love doing, I would recommend them to work really hard doing whatever it is they love with any resources they might have. That will be what makes you different from the rest. Do it with anything at your reach. So many people already know how to make perfect photographs.
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