In her hometown of Bad Rappenau, Germany, 14-year-old Mirka Laura Severa was interning with a portrait photographer, watching him recycle the same boring background rolls, when she had her epiphany: “There must be other ways to create images.” Now Severa creates surreal universes for magazines and brands with set and lighting design, controlling each object with deliberate artistry. “I like it when the product gets embedded into a story and melts together with the world I’m creating,” she says. After her internship, Severa studied graphic design, illustration and photo-graphy in Mannheim, Germany, and applied arts in Amsterdam. She has combined these disciplines in her freelance career, creating graphic and bold images for Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Vice and The New Yorker. Taking her art to new levels, she explores the conventions of product photography in a personal series that combines artificial limbs with the visual language of ads: “When combining luxury goods with prosthetics, there is an element of unease, of questioning what is being advertised, what is a product and, more directly, who is the product.” With a sharp and critical mind, Severa will continue to elevate the field.
This illustrator and printmaker in Providence, Rhode Island, treats each image like a puzzle.