Carlota Guerrero, a 26-year-old Spanish photographer and art director, is the woman behind Solange Knowles‘ stunning A Seat at the Table album cover and imagery.
It was Guerrero’s creative vision for female empowerment that connected with Knowles’ musical statement for her new LP, A Seat at the Table, and as Guerrero tells Billboard the two worked collaboratively to create images to project “the strength of solidarity between black women.”
Billboard caught up with the Barcelona native to talk about her contribution to A Seat at the Table and its accompanying 112-page digital book. Discussing how she conjured the essence of Knowles music with her simple but powerful pictures.
How was your first encounter with a camera or how did you become interested in photography?
I wanted to express myself in images but I was a bit clumsy with my hands, so photography was the first technique where I felt comfortable and happy with the results. I got obsessed with taking photos of some particular subjects colors and spaces and kept going, until I started seeing I was creating a language that I really enjoyed
How did your collaboration with Solange come about? Did you she or her team reach out to you?
I’ve always admired her work. I think she discovered mine on Instagram and her manager asked me to join her last June to art direct a performance at the Tate Modern. We had a beautiful creative connection and kept working together in the music videos and the artwork of her new album.
In the images from the new album, A Seat at the Table, there is a sense of empowerment, femininity and self-love. Was that Solange’s initial vision or was it something that you and her decided on?
I am a woman and I wake up every morning inside this woman’s body, and I want to understand things about it. It feels organic for me to explore around my own condition and I guess it’s the same for her. She wanted to talk about the strength of solidarity between black women and some of the images were thought to project that energy.
What was it about Solange’s vision on this project that made you want to be part of it?
I’ve always admired her deeply, I love so many things about her way of expressing herself: She works a lot in finding her own language and that’s something that has always interested me — creating images from your inner self and not for fashion or trends.
A special anecdote you’d like to share about working with Solange?
The scene when we got her covered in gold, she was my hero that day: It was very hot under the desert sun and we covered her in honey and glitter and she performed there for hours… She also stayed with the glitter until we got back to the hotel and with a golden cape she asked for a room to the receptionist. Her face was priceless!