Surreal chats with Aleksandra Kingo

Aleksandra Kingo takes hyper-real photographs that hinge on the surreal. Her influences feel like they take away from the likes of 70s fashion and New Wave cinema, with a generous helping of pop-culture in-between. Whether its commercial work, personal or editorial, Kingo’s images pop off the page (or screen). Unique, colourful and unmistakably hers, these juxtapositions will transport you. We caught up with her to find out what makes this designer tick. 


Could you give us a little insight into who you are and what you do?
I am a fashion & advertising photographer who is fond of colour, quirky still life and popular culture. I am 24, and I am always wearing a bright lipstick and big cat-eye glasses.

Your work has a hyper-real quality (kind of reminds us of Toiletpaper), how do you create your designs?
I adore Toiletpaper, I have to be honest! The ideas can come from many places, it could be a gif found on the Web, a scene seen in the movie or an awkward situation that might have happened in real life. I then take those references and try to bring them to the point of absurdity. It has to make me laugh. I then sketch the ideas out and recreate them, often with the help of a set designer. Camille Boyer ( is my regular partner in crime.


How do you set about making editorial photography? Who comes up with the story, and do you get to see your creative vision through? 
It really depends. Sometimes the concept is purely mine, sometimes we brainstorm together with people I have on board for the project. If it’s a magazine commission, they might send me some references to start the project from. In any case, I have a particular aesthetic that I love and apply that helps me imagine the story throughout even before I am on set. Plus, everything is drawn on paper prior to the shoot.

How do you keep your ideas fresh?
I don’t try too hard, to be honest, I just create what inspires me and what I am interested in, sometimes responding to the current affairs and trends. A hint of irony also helps.


What’s the best client brief that’s ever fallen into your inbox?
The best one is probably the one I am working on right now, so I will have to say that it’s a secret. It came from a big UK magazine and will be out in their September issue.

What’s the best unfinished project you’ve got under your belt?
There is a cute butt-themed still life concept laying around, which I never get my hands to, partly because it is harder to find a model. Haha, makes me want to make an annoncment: girls willing to model you butt (in the most innocent way), get in touch!

Do you have any unique work habits?
I listen to the stupidest Russian TV programs when I am retouching – I just need some mumbling on the background which I wouldn’t concentrate too much on. I go to sleep when I am stuck with work.

~ first published at Creativepool by Jade French

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