William’s brilliantly creative mind ventured away from its traditional role in the glitz and glamour world surrounded by perfectly touched up celebrities and took on a much more intimate, raw project.
“I just found doing other Pop stuff really soul destroying as it is such a thankless task now, and music projects are so short-lived.”
This realisation was the start of a beautiful relationship that transpired between William and his muse, and resulted in the birth of ‘The Book of Igor’.
The Book of Igor is a series of intimate photos of Igor Stepanov, (straight and in his 20s) photographed by William Baker. A stylist, photographer and creative director in his 40s, Baker is renowned for his incredible work, particularly
with pop princess Kylie Minogue. The images were all captured over the course of 18 months in which the photographer and his subject spent developing their relationship.
William chose his muse after he fell in love with the persona Igor projected in his selfies on Instagram. He said “he used to post these provocative selfies that were supercharged with this raw, street sexuality, but they had this innocence and this humanity.” William said he was attracted to Igor because he really inspired him.
The book’s provocative content reflects this tantalising nature of the relationship between the subject and the photographer. It explores love, loss, loneliness, age, ageing and masculinity, and Igor is a symbol of something above himself. As William explained, he symbolises a certain kind of boy, a young man on the cusp of adulthood, choosing
roads to take in life and exploring who he is. William further admitted that it was an intensely personal process and experiment, as Igor represented a generation that felt so increasingly alien to him. It is this alternate world that Baker investigates through his portrait of Stepanov. He believes that the constant need for validation through ‘likes’ is ultimately “destructive” and “dangerous”.
The process was one filled with emotional turmoil. In the book William said he never felt so young (or so old) when he was with Igor. The book is very natural, even unprocessed, as William wanted to show who his muse really is.
Book of Igor is about the harsh reality of the growing role of social media and its influence on society, particularly the younger generation.
All images from Book of Igor ; available here