Olivier Ciappa ROMEO Art Imaginary Couples French photographer

Olivier Ciappa – Imaginary Couples

ROMEO Art is our space to highlight and exhibit everyone from budding queer artists and students to established creators. In this edition, we feature Olivier Ciappa, one of France’s most accomplished photographers. We caught up with Olivier last summer in Paris at the Gay Games. He talks about the the meaning and intentions behind his most famous collection, Les Couples Imaginaires, Imaginary Couples. 

Olivier Ciappa ROMEO Art Imaginary Couples French photographer

Imaginary Couples

Olivier Ciappa’s work has toured the world and his collection ’Imaginary Couples’ consists of black and white photographs portraying gay love as totally natural and familiar.

Playing it Gay

Oliver approaches famous straight people and invites them to pose for him as queer couples. He has worked with actor and producer, Eva Longoria, Olympic Swimmer, Florent Manaudou, and film directors, Denis Villenueve (Sicario), and Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club). When not working with film stars and Olympians, Olivier also photographeds politicians, tv personalities, and other celebrities.

Related: Artur Garba 

Love is Love

The idea is to present gay relationships as being about love and intimacy while taking focus away from the sexual act that defines us. Then these gay couples and families are displayed in city centers and highly visible locations to melting the hearts of homophobes everywhere. By making gay love visible, he hopes to make it more normal in the eyes and minds of people that have little or no exposure to the LGBTQ community.

As the project has grown, it now also includes gay couples, single parent families and diverse models of every age, color and background. We met up with Olivier in Paris last July. Hear what the artist has to say about his work in his own words.

Olivier Ciappa – Imaginary Couples video

Romeo Art – Gallery

Olivier Ciappa - Imaginary Couples

Olivier Ciappa on Instagram

For even more delightful images and to get a sense of the real life of this French photographer, follow Ciappa on Instagram or visit his website.


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